Monday, March 21, 2022

Pray Like This

The Lord’s Prayer. It’s familiar, often quoted, even memorized.

A recent and slow read stopped me in my tracks recently. Let’s visit Matthew 6 for a few minutes …

Jesus is the one who is speaking and addresses the topic of giving:

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” 
(verses 3-4, NASB)

In addressing the topic of prayer, Jesus says:

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
(verses 5-6, NASB)

It was the concept of doing things privately, “in secret”, which stood out … give to the poor without blowing your own horn; pray alone where no one hears your words.

So often the large givers are recognized, and we admire those who pray out loud beautifully, poignantly, using words which move our hearts. And those both have their place and value.

But … God sees, and knows, and values that which we do in secret.

Before leading them in prayer, Jesus makes one more statement:

“So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
(verse 8, NASB)

There is an intimacy our God longs to have with us. It is a precious one on one relationship, and it begins with prayer.

All that we do should come from a desire to serve and honor God. Our motives should not be for gaining favor or recognition. And yet, our humanness can get in the way and skew our motives so easily.

Jesus knows this and gives us the model, a pattern for prayer.

  • We acknowledge God and His kingdom, praying for His will to be done.
  • We pray for our own daily needs.
  • We pray for forgiveness and the willingness to forgive others.
  • We pray for protection from the enemy.
  • We close with acknowledging it is God’s kingdom, and He holds all the power and is to get all the glory in all He does.

“Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’
(Matthew 6:8-13, NASB)

In giving us this model for prayer, Jesus teaches us how to pray as He prayed ,and brings us boldly before the Father.


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash



1 comment:

  1. I like to use this prayer as my starting-off place in praying. I'll sometimes expand on each particular request. I love that it keeps me praying Scripturally, but it also keeps my mind from flitting about.

    I love the emphasis on praying and doing in secret. As you said, it's all too easy for pride to slip in and desire affirmation and praise for doing things for the Lord. But then, He says, we have our reward. I pray He'll keep my focus on doing things as unto Him and not for self-glory.


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