Seven Intercessory Prayer Prompts: A Framework from the Lord's Prayer

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash. Praying the Lord's Prayer for our Guests and Clients at Water Street Mission.
Praying the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) for the guests in the residential program I work for has become quite meaningful for me. I think it might be helpful for others in similar programs.

For those who don't know, I work for Water Street Mission, an organization in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that has focused on advancing the kingdom of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ and by doing missionary, relief, and rescue work of all kinds. I serve as the Director of Pastoral Ministries, and in addition to providing spiritual care, I facilitate our spiritual classes, chapel, and chapel partner program. We have a residential and emergency shelter program, and those who utilize this programs are not our clients but our guests. 

Lately, I have tried to focus on praying for our guests more holistically and not only praying for their immediate needs.  I realized that regrettably my prayers have often been limited to only the areas and needs that an individual has communicated to me for prayer. Though asking how to pray for a guest is an important practice, and I will continue to do so, I also wanted to pray in ways that were focused on all the areas of their life and for their spiritual formation. We pray because we care, and in developing a framework for such a prayer I wanted to look at the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).

I find the Lord's Prayer not only historically and theologically significant but also profoundly impactful in shaping our spiritual formation. The Lord's Prayer has actually become the central focus of my Doctor of Ministry work and journey at Kairos University. Drawing from its rich content, I have often developed, in the past, a framework to use when praying for the church communities and neighborhoods that I have invested in. That framework for intercessory prayer is derived from the rhythm and each line in the Lord's Prayer. Lately, I've been extending this practice by developing a framework to pray for our guests at Water Street Mission

To pray more holistically for our guests, this framework (seven prayer prompts) utilizes the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13. It is one way that I am pursuing prayer as a deeper legacy. At the least, I hope praying this for others will at least change me. Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) once famously said, "The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays."

The framework features seven prayer prompts to guide my morning and daily prayers for our guests. With the original six lines of the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, serving as a guiding framework, I allocate each day of the week (Sunday through Friday) to focus on one specific line for our guests, allowing us to delve not only into a more holistic approach to prayer but also it utilizes a more faithful way to the rhythm of prayer that was taught to us by Jesus. Then, on Saturday—the original Sabbath day—I center our prayers on rest for our guests, asking God to grant them respite and to open their hearts to the opportunities available to them during their stay in our program.

I thought sharing this framework might be a helpful resource for others who are interested in praying in this way for our guests as well - or for those guests and clients in similar residential programs that they work with. So, I humbly offer it to you. Freely give, as you have freely received. You are welcome to edit and credit as needed. Jesus gave us this prayer, a way of prayer that is partially original to him and seemingly partially the conglomeration of many prayers of their day. Even more, Jesus gave it to us, in this order and way with great intentionality. Perhaps it will be fruitful to pray for the guests and clients in our care as well. After all, it is a prayer that makes us aware of the way the Kingdom is transforming our world and our lives, and it asks for God to bring transformation here and now. As Andrew Murray (1828-1917) once wrote, "We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth."

Seven Prayers for Our Guests

  • Sunday. We pray that our guests will encounter the goodness and good news of God’s character and that they will learn to trust God as their Heavenly Father.
  • Monday. We pray that our guests will experience God’s eternity, rule, and reign in every area of their lives and that they will know and trust God’s call and God’s will for followers of Jesus.
  • Tuesday. We pray that our guests will learn to trust God’s presence and provision in their lives and each moment of their day. We pray that they will trust that what God has presently given them is enough for today.
  • Wednesday. We pray that our guests will embrace God’s forgiveness, the power of God’s Spirit, and a transformed identity. We pray that they will gain the ability to forgive those who have wronged them.
  • Thursday. We pray that our guests will be empowered by God’s guidance, which keeps them from harm, trouble, temptation, old ways, and a lifestyle outside God’s best for them.
  • Friday. We pray that our guests will know God’s protection as well as liberation from the places where evil has maliciously harmed them and where they have related to others with malicious intent.
  • Saturday. We pray that our guests will embrace the restful, reflective, and educational opportunities at Water Street Mission to cultivate a deeper connection with God, the community, and themselves. May the words, works, and ways of Jesus take root in their hearts and minds.

Here are three suggested approaches to incorporate this prayer into our interactions with guests: 

  1. Use it as a daily prayer prompt, directing your thoughts toward individuals who come to mind each day.

  2. Make it a prayer rhythm specifically tailored for a guest whom you feel called to pray for by God.

  3. Engage in the prayer in its entirety, either for, over, or with a guest, encompassing their presence in the moment.

In prayer, we often find ourselves transformed as much as the ones we pray for. Reflecting on the profound impact of praying the Lord's Prayer for our guests at Water Street Mission, I am hoping to discover a deeper rhythm of intercession. This framework, rooted in the timeless wisdom of Matthew 6:9-13, offers a holistic approach to prayer, guiding us to pray not only for immediate needs but also for spiritual formation. As we embrace this prayer legacy, may it not only change us but also usher in transformation for those we serve. Let us walk together in the rhythm of prayer, inviting the Kingdom to transform our world and our lives, one prayer at a time.

Seven Prayer Prompts Image

Seven Prayer Prompts PDF

Popular Posts

Book Review: Shattered by Rip Wahlberg

Book Review: How Much Land Does a Man Need by Leo Tolstoy

Book Review: Lennon, Dylan, Alice, & Jesus by Greg Laurie and Marshall Terrill