I was talking with a staff member at my church this last week and they shared how they are active in their Bible and worship, but prayer has been difficult to add. He works for a church and struggles with prayer. If that is true in him, it is true with many other people.
One of the things that make it hard is when we hear professional prayers. We go to church, watch it online, tv, or the radio and we hear people pray these great, eloquent, big word prayers. These prayers are intimidating. I have a 4 year Bible degree and have been a pastor for over a decade. I will hear people pray and they use words I do not understand and at times feel less spiritual.
In Jesus time, professional prayers would stand a street corners and show how great they were and how they obeyed the law. Here is what Jesus said about that…
Matthew 6:5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.
Then he tells how to pray in a very simple way…
6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
So how do you pray? Here is what Jesus said…
9 Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.
It was less about praying these exact words and more then meaning. Jesus start by reminding us that God is a Father who is Holy. If we see him as a father it reminds us that we are his kid! That is a great way to approach prayer as a kid who has a great Dad!!!! Then He leads us to pray about His kingdom. This causes us to think less about building our kingdom and joining Kingdom. This is your mission, your calling, and God’s will for your life! Be about and build His Kingdom. After knowing He is a good Father and we are all about His kingdom, we now can ask with right motive for Him to supply our needs because He cares about our needs, wants to forgive us, and lead us towards freedom.
- Remember who He is and who we are
- Be about His Kingdom
- Ask Him to meet our needs
- Ask forgiveness from a loving Dad
- Ask to stay in freedom
This is how Jesus taught us to pray. This is a great way to start to pray. It doesn’t have to be pretty, full of big words, or even very long. Think about going to spend time with a Dad who wants to help you know who you really are and wants the best version of life possible.
Go spend time with Dad in prayer!!!
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus