How To Use The Lord’s Prayer To Pray For Your Family

Jesus gave us “The Lord’s Prayer,” as it has been called, not simply to pray as a standalone prayer, but as a pattern for prayer.

It is a great pattern to use when praying for yourself, your children, grandchildren and all your descendants. I use this pattern almost every day to pray for my family.

Here’s the Lord’s prayer in Matthew:

Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. MT 6.9-13

Here is how I incorporate this prayer when praying for my family. I really like this pattern because it keeps me focused. And I can pray through the various sections in a short time.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name. (9)

Before we begin asking God for things for ourselves it is so wonderful and important to focus on his glory and holiness. “Hallowed be thy name.” Or, “Holy be your name.” Take a few moments to worship Him: It can be something as simple as, “Father, I praise you, for you are holy and good and loving. Praise you for your steadfast love and your mercies that are new every morning.”

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Psalm 100:4 says:

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

So before I begin to ask God to bless my family, I usually try to begin by giving thanks to him. Most days I take a few minutes to write 1 page in a moleskine to the Lord of things I’m thankful for. Focusing on God’s holiness reminds us of whom we are approaching – the infinitely glorious One. And beginning with thanks helps us not forget all the ways he has blessed us already, before we ask him to bless us again. It also strengthens our faith in how generous and gracious our heavenly Father is. Next Jesus tells us to pray:

Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven. (10)

Before we pray for our interests, we should pray for God’s interests. God’s kingdom is his rule. So I pray that the Lord would bring his rule into the world. That he would save multitudes in every nation, and our nation. But then I pray he would bring his rule into the lives of my family – me, Kristi and my children, every one of our grandchildren, and every single descendant until Jesus returns. I pray that he would save every one who is not yet saved, and that each and every one of us would follow Jesus wholeheartedly as disciples as long as we live. That Jesus would be the king of our whole family.

Give us this day our daily bread, (11)

I ask our heavenly Father to bless and provide for me and Kristi, and each one of our children and their families.

and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. (12)

The Greek word for “debt” means: “a debt, offense, sin.” (Thayer’s Greek lexicon). By “debts” Jesus meant “tresspasses,” for 2 verses later he says:


For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (14-15).

But didn’t Jesus pay for all our sins on the cross? Yes, but we should still ask God’s forgiveness whenever we sin. As he says in 1 JN 2.1:

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

And in 1 JN 1:8-9

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So I pray something along these lines:

“Father please forgive me and Kristi our tresspasses. And please forgive each of our children and grandchildren for their sins.” Even when we aren’t aware of any sins, we all fail in numerous ways all the time. We may not have actively committed sins; but we all fail to perfectly obey him every day. We should ask God to forgive our children who are saved, but especially those who Jesus has yet to save.

Helpful Resource:

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How to Pray: Reflections and Essays
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Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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