Don’t Pray Like Them

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Jesus taught His followers how to pray saying, “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. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:5-8). This Scripture raised questions with me as a young woman. I get the part about not praying to show piety, but for a long time I wondered why I needed to pray if God already knew what I needed. The answer came by spending time reading the Bible and devotions. I learned about the character of God and how much He loved me, that He wanted me to be in a relationship with Him.

Following the Scripture above is the Lord’s Prayer. See if you can find one personal pronoun.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

THINK ABOUT IT

Jesus taught that prayer is not about us but about Him and others. Does that mean that it’s wrong to pray, “Thank you, Jesus,” or “Help me, Jesus”? By no means! Although our purpose as Christians is to love God and others, God wants to have a relationship with us. When we speak our hearts in prayer, we can be very personal, and when we pray from our hearts in personal ways, we discover how personal a relationship with God is. He loves us and cares about what happens to us. He sent His Holy Spirit to comfort, counsel, teach and lead us in His ways.

PRAY ABOUT IT

Heavenly Father, help us to learn more about You so we can know Your amazing love. Teach us to pray in a way to establish a personal relationship with you. Amen.