How to Pray


Read: Matthew 6:5-13          

Depending on who you talk to you might get many different answers about how we are to pray to God.  In Matthew 6:5-13 Jesus gives us some guidance.  First, he talks about our approach to prayer and then he gives us some specific words to pray.  Depending on which translation of the Bible you use this prayer might be a little different, but the actual words, nature, and purpose of the prayer are the same.

Praying to God can happen in many different ways, in essence it is actually a conversation between the created and the Creator.  As pastor and author Max Lucado says, “Prayer reminds you who is in charge.  You don’t take your requests to someone with less authority.  You take them to someone who outranks you in the solutions department.  Prayer decreases you and increases God.”

At the same time, our God is a personal God who wants to converse with you about the important things in your life as well as the things that you might think are more trivial.  God cares about all of it.  We don’t need to change our voice, assume a certain posture, or even close our eyes in order to talk with God.  If you pray while you are driving, please keep your eyes open.

Jesus does encourage us to pray with humility.  In verse 5 he says, “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.”  Jesus isn’t saying that we can’t pray together in church or with other people, he is just reminding us about the attitude we should have when we go to the Lord in prayer.

Many people have memorized the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 in either the King James version or the New International Version.  Here is how pastor Eugene Peterson paraphrases it in the Message Bible, “Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are.  Set the world right; Do what’s best, as above, so below.  Keep us alive with three square meals.  Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.  Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.  You’re in charge!  You can do anything you want!  You’re ablaze in beauty!  Yes. Yes. Yes.”

Make it Personal:  God loves you and wants to be a part of your everyday life.  Prayer is one of the ways to invite Jesus into the situations and circumstances that you face.  All you have to do is talk to God and share your heart.  The Lord also speaks to us through the Bible, take some time this week to open your Bible while you pray.

Have a blessed week, Pastor Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church