In this 10th blog about prayer, I borrow insights from Ronald Dunn’s book, Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer.
The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Two problems must be dealt with: how to pray and what to pray for. Jesus answered both in Matthew 6:1-13. First, He tells us how not to pray and gives the reason for not praying that way. He then tells us how to pray.
How Not to Pray (Matthew 6:1-8)
- “The hypocrite prays with the wrong motive
The pagan prays in the wrong manner.”
- “The hypocrite perverts the purpose of prayer.
The pagan misunderstands the nature of prayer.”
- “The hypocrite prays to impress man.
The pagan prays to impress God.”
- “The hypocrite’s mistake is made deliberately.
The pagan’s mistake is made ignorantly.”
How to Pray (Matthew 6:5-13)
1. We pray sincerely with a pure motive (Matthew 6:5). The next ingredient of answered prayer shows how we achieve sincerity in prayer.
2. We pray with secrecy to the Father concentrating on His presence and content with His praise (Matthew 6:2,6). The next ingredient of answered prayer shows how we pray to the Father.
3. We pray with simplicity not prying open the hand of a tight-fisted God (Matthew 6:7-8).
Richard Trench: “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold to God’s willingness.” Repetition in prayer is not always meaningless. Jesus’ two parables on prayer (Luke 11:4-9 and 18:1-8) emphasized persistent repetition.
The next ingredient of answered prayer shows how to pray persistently without meaningless repetition.
4. We pray specifically (Matthew 6:9-13). The first part of the Lord’s or model prayer concerns the glory of the Father (Matthew 6:9-10).
- We are to pray that the name of the God will be revered: “Hallowed by Thy name.”
- We are to pray that the rule of God will be established: “Thy kingdom come.”
- We are to pray that the will of God be done: “Thy will be done.”
- We are to pray for daily provision: “Give us this day our daily bread.”
- We are to pray for daily pardon: “Forgive us our debts.”
- We are to pray for daily protection: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Let me know how you’re doing in praying to the Father?
Email: Mark Pomeroyfirstname.lastname@example.org
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