Exploring the Concept of Daily Prayer
Daily prayer can be a powerful practice but it’s something that many, if not most, of us, simply choose to ignore. We can convince ourselves that we’re too busy and just don’t have the time but daily prayers don’t have to be time-consuming: they don’t require you to take hours out of your day.
In fact, regardless of whether you’re saying the daily prayer or one of your own creations, you don’t need to spend much more than a few minutes. In this article, we will take a look at why you might wish to say a daily prayer. We’ll look at what the Bible says on the matter and we’ll cover some basic examples.
What is a Daily Prayer?
This may seem like an unnecessary question but not everyone is aware of what function a daily prayer serves, or what it actually is. Realistically, the concept can be broken up into two categories and we will explore each of them individually. The first is ‘the daily prayer.
This refers to a specific prayer used within Christianity and it typically follows the same structure with almost the same words (although there are some minor variations around the world).
The other refers to daily prayers in a more practical sense of the word i.e. prayers that you say daily. These change from person to person and aren’t limited by their content.
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The Lord’s Prayer
The daily prayer, as taught by Jesus himself, involves just a few lines:
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom comes, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses and
those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom and
the power, and the glory, forever,
Chances are you’re familiar with this prayer. Some of you will know it word for word; others will have heard it at least a few times before. But what does it all mean?
Understanding the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer may seem a little confusing at first but it’s actually the blueprint of all prayers. Through understanding this prayer, the prayer that Jesus passed on to his followers 2000 years ago, we can work to make our own prayers just as powerful. So let’s break down each section and explore what it actually means.
The start of the prayer is pretty self-explanatory. “Our Father who art in Heaven” is a reference to God who resides in Heaven. You can think of praying as being similar to writing a letter: you have to start by addressing the person (or spiritual being) that it is intended for.
“Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. This is a reference to our desire to serve God. We want Earth and all those who live upon it to fit the image that God has in mind.
With this part of the prayer, we are dedicating ourselves to the ideals and visions of God. We are asking for his guidance on what to do next.
“Give us this day our daily bread” is an important component of the prayer and it’s something that we find in almost every single prayer: what are you asking God for?
Here we are asking God for the essentials to survive: bread, shelter, and water. However, you can ask for whatever you need in prayer. We’ll explore this in more depth in a moment.
Further Exploration of the Lord’s Prayer
“And forgive us our trespasses” is another common aspect of prayer. Many people pray to God, not because they need anything physically from him, but they need something spiritual.
In this case, it is forgiveness. We are asking God to forgive whatever mistakes we may have made.
“Lead us not into temptation” is where we ask God for protection. Evil spirits or beings may try and mislead us by luring us down a dark path. By asking God for protection, we can urge him to keep us on the right, moral path.
We are showing that we put our faith and trust in God. This is an important step because, without faith and trust, and daily prayer will ultimately become meaningless. Put your heart and soul into the prayer so that God knows and feels your devotion.
“For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory…” is our acknowledgment of two things: God’s power throughout the universe, but also his wisdom and knowledge.
We accept that the decision as to whether to answer a prayer or not is his and his alone.
Many people view this section as a reminder that we are servants of God and that anything he chooses to grant us is simply a bonus on being granted life itself.
Other Daily Prayers
You can choose to recite the above prayer as today’s prayer of the day but you can also create a prayer of your own. We discussed earlier that the Lord’s Prayer is essentially the blueprint of all other prayers.
You start by addressing the spiritual being. This could be God but it could also be an Archangel, an angel, a spiritual guide, or even just a prayer that you wish to send out into the universe.
Whether you’re sending your prayer to a specific being or just to anyone who is listening, be sure and specify as such.
You then reach the content of your prayer. Many people will use the same daily prayers each day but you can change it on a day-to-day basis.
If you need something specific then an example might be praying for the health and well-being of loved ones or the strength to survive the loss of a loved one.
Similarly, you may be even more specific and pray for a person’s health or for a job interview to go well. Alternatively, you may be asking for forgiveness from God. In this case, you’ve likely made a mistake and now regret your actions.
Acknowledging that you made a mistake is the first step on your path to forgiveness, the next step is asking for it. When asking for forgiveness you need to tell God or your angels why you carried the action out and why you now regret it.
Spiritual Benefits of Praying
Your spiritual actions today daily prayer or otherwise will have a lasting impact on your spiritual development. Praying isn’t just about asking for something and receiving it, there is much more to it than that.
Saying a daily prayer is an opportunity to create a spiritual connection with God or angels and through doing this, we allow our vibrational energy level to increase.
This is a key step toward achieving spiritual enlightenment. If we never reach out to spiritual beings, even if it’s just to thank them or to ask for daily protection, then how can we ever hope to reach the next stage of our spiritual evolution?
At the very least, we can view daily prayer as a form of meditation. Meditation is another method for increasing your vibrational energy level.
People who meditate or say a daily prayer (or both) will feel more spiritual, will feel less stressed, and will feel a deeper sense of oneness with the universe and all those within it.
So now you’re probably wondering how often and for how long you should say a daily prayer. Let’s take a look.
When to Pray
Knowing when to pray is ultimately a personal issue. We can look to holy books such as the Bible for answers but times have changed and our understanding of the world has evolved.
Luke 18:7 suggests that we should pray to God at least twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening.
However, in Luke 11:3 we can see him informing his followers that praying to God for their daily needs would more than suffice. Jesus sets a different example by praying at the least convenient of times such as during his baptism or throughout the night, before choosing his 12 disciples.
Of course, you could choose to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by staying up all night to pray. However, it wouldn’t be advisable to jump straight into such a task. When you first begin to say a daily prayer, you could start by saying the Lord’s Prayer once a day.
Once that habit becomes more natural, you could say your own prayer or both the Lord’s Prayer and another daily prayer of your choosing.
Eventually, you might naturally fall into the habit of saying a prayer when you first wake up in the morning (possibly concerning the day that awaits you) and one in the evening (to either thank God or to ask forgiveness for something you did).