Summary: How to get out of rote praying and pray from the heart.
There have been many people on TV, the radio and volumes of books have been written on “How To Pray”. Instead of dissecting these books lets look at one passage in the bible. Did you know that in the book of Matthew Jesus tells His disciples how they should pray?
Matthew 6:5-13 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
This passage is from Jesus to the disciples. For the past two weeks we looked at how the 23rd Psalm showed God’s love for us through protection, wisdom and salvation in the face of all kinds of adversity. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal but we know very little on how to access this power that the Lord has given us. So what better passage to look at than the one on how Jesus tells us How To Pray.
We see in the first couple sentences that Jesus says to find a quiet place with no one looking at you. This was two fold. A number of the religious leaders called the Pharisees wanted people to see them praying. They had long drawn out prayers that were to make them look religious. But as we saw on our devotional “Smokin Hot Wife” prayer is directed to God not to call attention to yourself. So we know from the words of Jesus that we need to find a quiet place. Now listen if we have a huge concern and we are in the midst of a 1,000 people still pray. The point is to not showcase your prayers to others. God hates an arrogant spirit.
Matthew 6:7.8 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
The outline for the week will be this entire passage but for today just this verse. A lot of times we can have a list a mile long of requests. This can be good and bad. If we use the list too often then our prayers become rote and then our prayers are just words with no meaning. Jesus desires to hear from our heart. What is in the depths of your heart that is troubling you? That is what Jesus wants to get out.
When an airliner loses cabin pressure the oxygen masks drop. You are told by the flight crew to put the mask on yourself before putting it on your child. You would think the child would be first. But if you pass out before you get the child’s mask on then both of you are doomed. Don’t feel guilty about asking God to help YOU with your problem. You can’t help others when you are crumbling inside. Well you can but you will not be very effective. LET God change you, heal you and set you on firm footing. Once you see the power and grace that is given to you by our Lord Jesus through prayer THEN you will be able to testify to the power of prayer. If you don’t see prayer work how can you enthusiastically tell others the power of this?