“Pray, then, in this way…” – Matthew 6:9a
Jesus’ disciples had often seen Him go off on His own to pray. Curious to learn more, they asked Him to teach THEM how to pray. Now, there’s no real mystery to praying; after all, you’re just talking to your Heavenly Father – it should be like talking to your best friend. But Jesus knew His disciples needed help, as we often do, so here is a summary of the conversation that followed:
- Address God as Father – Through Jesus, we can know God personally as our Father who is the embodiment of the ideal dad.
- Praise – Praise God’s name and character traits. This helps keep our problems in perspective when viewed in comparison to God’s matchless greatness!
- Pray for His will to be done – Share your concerns and requests with God, but remember to pray for His will to be done in your life and in the lives of others.
- Pray for daily needs – God wants to meet our needs, but don’t confuse needs and wants.
- Confess your sins – Ask God’s forgiveness when you sin and for God’s help in forgiving others when they wrong you.
- Ask for protection and strength in the face of temptation and evil.
Jesus taught the basics of prayer, but prayer doesn’t end there. Whatever else you need to talk about with God, go ahead and tell Him. He wants to hear from you. Find a quiet spot and give it a try. And, remember, your prayer life gets better with practice.