Summary: Jesus’ disciples saw Him go to secluded places to pray many times and they wanted to learn to pray to the Father as Jesus did.
Lord Teach Us to Pray
Jesus’ disciples saw Him go to secluded places to pray many times and they wanted to learn to pray to the Father as Jesus did. The Bible tells us much about how we should pray and the attitude of prayer. Prayer is our communication line to God. It is like talking with a close friend concerning a personal matter. The conversation is just between you and the friend. It is the same way with our conversation with God.
Let’s see what Jesus had to say concerning the don’ts 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 men. I tell you the truth, 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.
When we pray, we should be having a personal talk with God. We don’t pray so that others will see us pray as the Pharisees did in the synagogues. We aren’t trying to impress anyone with our prayers, but we are praying to our Father on a one on one basis. Jesus instructed us to go into a solitary place like a room or even a closet to pray in secret. This will also eliminate all distractions. Be sure to unplug the phone or turn off your cell phone. Our prayer life with our Father should be more important than anything else, so make sure there will be no interruptions.
Then Jesus tells us not to keep on babbling on and on. God is all knowing! He knows what you are going to say before you even say it. So don’t try to impress God with all of your fancy words. There are some religions that require their members to memorize prayers and they repeat these prayers over and over again. They even use repetitious prayers for repentance of their sins. Prayer is a personal conversation with God. No one can tell you what to say. This is something that comes from the heart and spirit. Jesus shows us how we ought to pray, but the words come from us.
We should treasure this time of fellowship with our heavenly Father. Prayer isn’t a magic formula to get things from God. Communing with God in prayer is itself a reward. We have been given the right and privilege to directly address the Creator of the Universe, the Almighty, and the Alpha and Omega. What can be greater than this?
Secret prayer is always rewarded with a response from God. It may not always be the response that we wanted, but it will be the best response.
There was a man who just committed his life to the mission field and he wanted to witness to the Colombian Contras, but he didn’t know how to get into their camps without being killed. So this missionary prayed that God would grant his wish and to give him safe passage into the Contra’s camps. Praying in faith that God would answer his prayer, the missionary went to South America. When he arrived he decided to go downtown to buy some supplies that he would need in the jungle. When he walked into the store some young men came running out and knocked him down. The nearby police grabbed the young rebels and also the missionary and arrested them for robbery of the store. The missionary couldn’t believe what was happening to him. He had prayed to God for protection so he could witness to the Contra rebels, but here he is in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. After a few days in prison he realized that the majority of the other inmates were Contra rebels. He began to witness to them about Jesus Christ and led many to know our Lord. This missionary was given the opportunity to witness to a captured audience of Contra rebels and at the same time was protected from any harm that they may have caused him if they had been in the jungle. Over the next five years that he was in prison for something that he had not done, he led many Contras and guards to know Christ has their Savior. God had answer this missionary’s prayer with the best answer, but not the one that he had expected. When God answers our prayers, trust God. He knows better than us how to best answer our prayers. We need to learn to obey and follow God’s instructions.