The Perfect Prayer

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Bold in Faith, The SundayMonday Tuesday Archives


One of the greatest gifts I have ever received in my life was learning how to pray. Prayer is a weird thing to learn; like riding a bike or swimming or speaking another language, you can only learn by doing.

I remember the first time a FOCUS missionary asked me to lead prayer out loud. I (a person who always has a lot to say and loves a captive audience) was trembling in my boots. What do I say? Do I address God or Jesus? How do I end it? But it was only through stumbling through a few of those forced “step-up opportunities” that I eventually learned how to pray.

So how do we pray? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for what works for me. And I found that having a structure taught me how to pray and eventually gave me the confidence to go out on my own – like Picasso encouraging his students to learn to paint in the classical style before developing their own. And we are blessed because the greatest prayer teacher of ALL TIME gave us the guide in a prayer we all likely know and love: the Our Father.

One, slow, intentional Our Father allows us to offer perfect prayer. Let’s break it down:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

We begin by recognizing and worshiping God for who He is: holy, good, and Our Father. This intimacy we are offered with the God of heaven and earth invites us to begin our prayer by remembering that we are beloved sons and daughters of the Creator of the Universe – wow. Take a moment to rest in that.

What does it mean to you to be known, loved, and created on purpose by God? Do you see Him as your good Father, the Good Shepherd, the Divine Physician? Do you believe that He knows you and has a good plan for your life?

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

Now is the time to embrace and accept God’s will for our lives. We live in a society and world that teaches us to want what we want, exactly when we want it. But prayer invites us to come to the Lord with those desires and ask Him to purify them.

Yes, I want this promotion or that opportunity, but do I trust that God’s plan is better than mine? If I don’t get what I want, do I believe that it’s ultimately for my good? We can only love and trust God’s plan for our lives if we love and trust God – and this relationship is built through prayer.

Give us this day our daily bread

Jesus promises us that our good Father provides everything we need, in abundance. This is called providence, and it’s one of the greatest benefits of being a child of God. That doesn’t mean we get everything we want all the time, but we are promised that He provides everything we need. This is also a time to offer intentions for ourselves and those we love.

Do I believe that God is going before me today to provide everything I need? Do I trust that He knows the obstacles and challenges I will face and that He gives me every virtue and grace to walk through them? Can I ask Him to increase my virtue so that I can look more like Him?

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against uss.

Yep. Let’s do this. We are broken people in a broken world, which means that we need forgiveness. At this point in prayer, we can confess our sins to God (note that this is different from the sacrament of Confession, but it’s still an important daily practice). Awareness of our sins is the first step to healing from them. Recognizing our own sins and weaknesses also helps us be more merciful to the people in our own lives – we receive mercy, and so we can extend it to them.

Do I need to offer a formal apology to a person in my life or to the Lord for how I have hurt them? Am I holding a grudge that I need to release to God? How is my own sinfulness and weakness holding me back from the freedom and abundant life that God wants for me?

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

I’m going to say something that might shock you here*: the Devil is real. Charles Baudelaire said it best: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Every single day we are walking into battle. And every single day, the enemy of our souls is working to steal our joy, kill our peace, and destroy our hope. Whether it’s a lie that we’re believing about our worth, a doubt we have about our value, or a hurt we nurse until it poisons us again, the enemy is at work. And if we don’t call that out and cast him back to hell, he will break us. But the good news: God already won. God is victorious. And He promises to protect us, if only we to call on Him.

Do I believe that there is a war on my soul, on my peace, on my joy? Do I ask the Lord to protect me, and to replace these lies with the Truth? Do I take action to protect myself against these attacks by seeking out the true, good, and beautiful in media, music, friendships, and prayer?


Amen means “Yes, it is so!” And so as we close our prayer with this, we entrust our petitions and our very lives to the God who loved us into being.

If prayer is feeling dry or discouraging, give this a try this week. And please let me know how it’s going by dropping a reply to this email!

Also, stay tuned for next week, when we will officially be launching a SUPER cool series that I’ve been working on all summer! Yay!

In Christ,


*hopefully not!

What we’re loving lately:

Podcast Episode 78: Choose the bigger life!

  • Inspired by my recent trip to Yosemite with some friends, I wanted to talk a bit about the value of choosing the “bigger” life. It’s tempting to get comfortable and not want to challenge ourselves to do new things and step outside our comfort zones, but it’s always worth it. Tune in here on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

Parabellum: The Five Attacks Fr. Mike Homily

  • I love Fr. Mike’s homilies, but I think this is the best one I have heard in years. Wow. Fr. Mike names five attacks on our holiness, and he does so with so much truth, depth, and goodness. Go listen now!!

Gretchen Rubin’s “Profound” and “Practical” Commencement Addresses

  • I adore Gretchen Rubin and she recently released her commencement address from her daughter’s high school graduation, so of course I had to dive in. She of course wrote two different addresses – one more profound, and one more practical. I loved them both! You can find them linked in the blue above 🙂

God’s not in a hurry

  • A big theme for me this summer has been trying to live “unhurried.” When I saw this post on Instagram, I was so excited. Maddie captured exactly how I’ve been feeling! I love when people use their gift with words to love and serve other people 🙂

Prayer Requests

  • For a friend who is pregnant
  • For healing!
  • For this community

If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week’s newsletter!

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