I occasionally find myself frustrated over the lack of times I witness the Lord's Prayer being recited. Matthew writes in 6.9 that we should pray like this (NLT); of course, the issue of whether the prayer ought to be communicated verbatim or not is debatable. However, what I do not think is debatable is that this is a powerful prayer. What other prayer has caused such civic uproar? The Lord's Prayer is, after all, that same prayer which public schools first welcomed and then denied. It is the Peter of prayers, or maybe, our prayer lives are just wayward like Peter was?
Whatever the case may be, I understand the difficulty with praying, and I trust that a lot of people relate to me in this way. But this prayer should dismantle that worry. It's right there in Scripture and God is waiting for you to pray it. What amazes me about the Lord's Prayer is that, I think, it is capable of taking on so many different meanings. What I mean here is that this ancient and objective prayer allows room for the subjectivity of the one who speaks to God. The Lord's Prayer is not some bore of a speech that lacks interest in those worries, requests, confessions, and whatever else one might want to lay at the feet of the Father. Rather, it's a map that can put these things into their proper location. Like a chorus of birds hiding in the shade of a tree, a Christian's prayers can hide in the words of the Lord's Prayer.
The practice of prayer, especially in the social sphere of life, can cause distress for the more self-conscious individual who lacks "proper speech." But again, the words await in the book of Matthew, and nobody can recite this prayer "better" than anybody else. Prayer should not welcome unruly comparison any more than temples should sell doves. Pride is not beyond the eyes of the Christ, and he will chase it out just like he chased out those robbers in the temple.