How to Pray
Jesus said: ‘When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!’ (vv. 7-8 NLT).
When people say, ‘I don’t know how to pray,’ what they usually mean is that they don’t know how to pray like us. They don’t know how to use our ‘Christian jargon’. Jesus says you don’t need to worry about getting the words right because ‘your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him’.
God’s listening to our hearts more than our words. We don’t have to be self-conscious; He’s not grading us on how well we express ourselves. Compare prayer to breathing. You breathe instinctively without awareness and conscious attention; it’s a natural expression of our moment-by-moment dependence on oxygen. That’s how God wants us to engage in our communication with Him. He wants to be the air we breathe and the environment in which we live.
Edwin Keith said, ‘Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the Spirit of God’. Through prayer we can live in continuous contact with God. Jesus said, ‘Pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you’ (v. 6 TLB).
Prayer isn’t a public demonstration of how spiritual you are. Communication with the One we love calls for getting alone with Him, away from interruptions and distractions. It’s about you and your Father having an intimate talk.
‘Your Father knows exactly what you need!’ Matthew 6:8 NLT