Summary: When we approach our Heavenly Father in prayer we need to understand that He knows us better than we know ourselves. For that reason we need not be afraid to bring before Him our doubts and fears as well as our questions about faith and life.
Jesus our model of prayer
5 “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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 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. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
One Sunday a little five year old girl was sitting near her mother in church. The minister was using his booming voice in prayer and was shouting so that the beams on the roof began to shake and dust could be seen floating down from the ceiling. Seeing this the little girl leaned toward her mother to whisper; “Mother; don’t you think that if he lived nearer to God he wouldn’t have to talk so loud?”
Source: Bible Illustrations Book 4 pg.256-257 AMG Publishers Chattanooga Tennessee 1998
Yes, sometimes folks make theatre of prayer and sometimes even ministers and pastors are guilty of trying to make up for the great distance that separates them and their prayers from Heaven. How near are you living to God dear Christian?
Our Heavenly Father hears the smallest whisper even that of a little child. We need not shout, just simply ask.
Jesus shows us how to ask. He prayed in private on many occasions and instructs us to do likewise. Matthew 6:6
6 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.
Pastor Randy Frazee in his book “Believe” tells us…
Prayer is a gift from God that allows us “a way to know God…. As Jesus modeled - prayer is the best way to become closer to God. The authors of the Psalms seemed to understand this. The prayers in the (Psalms) reveal that people in Bible times were very much like people today: they had hopes, fears, joy and pain. These writers spilled out to the all-powerful God of the universe what was on their hearts. They believed God wanted to know what they were experiencing and feeling. God longs to hear from each of us as well.” Source: Believe Randy Frazee pg. 196 Zondervan 2015 Grand Rapids Michigan
One such Psalm that speaks to us about prayer is Psalm 66:18-20 NIV
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
When we approach our Heavenly Father in prayer we need to understand that He knows us better than we know ourselves. For that reason we need not be afraid to bring before Him our doubts and fears as well as our questions about faith and life.
But come to God with humble and contrite hearts not making a big show for others to see or hear like those whom Jesus spoke of in…
5 “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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
It is important that we approach God with a heart that is right. 1 John 3:21-22
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”
We cannot ask for the things we expect to receive unless we are first willing to give them to others. Jesus tells us this very simply in “The Lord’s Prayer’; Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our trespasses, as we also have forgiven those who trespass against us.”
Jesus prayed early in the morning and late into the night. Jesus shows us that we need to be praying always. St. Paul told the Ephesians this in Ephesians 6:18 New International Version