Today we are going to be look at the way in which Jesus taught us to pray.
Matthew 6:5-15 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
The Pattern for Prayer
Jesus, while here on earth, gave us a pattern to use when we pray. Many people think of this as some kind of magic prayer, that if they say these words over and over that God will bless them simply for saying these words. Jesus was very clear in Matthew 6:7 that we are not supposed to mindlessly babble words, for the sake of saying the words. It is fine to pray for the same thing over and over until you get an answer (like the salvation of a loved one) but Jesus said don’t just say words to say them. Many people say this and refer only to the “Hail Mary” or “Our Father” prayers but it is possible to use vain repetition even in Modern English terms. Many of us do this when we pray about certain things, “…bless this food to our bodies…”. There is nothing wrong with asking the Lord to bless your food every time you eat, but are you asking because you really want Him to bless your food, or are you asking because that is what you are supposed to say before you eat? It’s OK to repeat your prayers, just make sure you are being sincere.
What About You?
- When you pray are you following the pattern that Jesus laid out for us?
- Are you allowing for each of the steps that Jesus gave to us when you pray (e.g. asking forgiveness, praising God, ect.)?