Most Christians look at PRAYER like some religious practice that’s done either in the morning, at night, before dinner, before a sporting event by players, during Church services and some look at it as something done by someone else who’s more closer to God, be it a Pastor, Priest, or your spouse who’s more holier than you are. However we may look at PRAYER—Jesus made it clear on how we are suppose to PRAY.
Rules of Engagement
In order for us to engage in a conversation with OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, we need to consider what JESUS said;
1. We should not be hypocritical. Jesus said, and when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward (Matthew 6:5 NKJV). Hypocrites are show-boaters they like to impress people that they are somewhat spiritual by praying out in the open. We are warned not to be like them. Their reward is that God is not hearing them at all because HE knows that they are showboating or showing-off.
2. We should PRAY privately. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to the FATHER who is in the secret place; and your FATHER who sees in secret will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6 NKJV).
Let me share some facts from this verse that you will not find in commentaries in your study Bible. 1) When we go to our room or our secret prayer closet we need to shut everything else out. We must shut out the pain, the problem, the issues, the evil thoughts and focus on what we went into the room or closet for! 2) Its only in Secret, behind closed doors will we be able to contact, communicate with, and receive instruction from OUR HEAVENLY FATHER about our situation and be led accordingly to do what HE instructed us to do.
3. We should not be repetitive. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words (Matthew 6:7 NKJV). Heathen people teach that we must chant or make incantations to God so He may hear us. This ungodly practice that was done for many centuries creep into the Jewish way of praying to God and it infected many religions. This evil practice of prayer is well over 4000 years old.
As a Catholic believer back in the day I was taught to say the Our Father Prayer a couple of times then the Hail Mary Prayer a couples of times during my private prayer time, and then I would eventually receive an answer to my prayer. Today almost all religions teach repetitive prayers. JESUS TELLS US DO NOT USE VAIN REPETITIONS. (Oh, by the way the Hail Mary prayer is not in the Holy Bible). Things you come to realize when you read Scripture for yourself!!! (See Acts 17:10-11 NKJV).
God is not in heaven mocking us saying, “I can’t hear you.” So we don’t need to keep saying the OUR FATHER PRAYER over and over because a misguided Priest or Pastor told us to. If we really want an answer to our prayers we need to apply what JESUS is teaching us right here. I didn’t say it Jesus did. Jesus said if we continue in His word the Holy Bible the Scriptures we shall know the truth and the Truth shall make us free from religious practices (John 8:31-32 NKJV).
Being repetitive in prayer is different from being persistent in prayer. Jesus encouraged us to be persistent in our prayers (See Luke 18:1-8 NKJV).
4. We should know in our minds that OUR FATHER KNOWS WHAT WE NEED. Jesus said, therefore, do not be like them (The Hypocrites). For YOUR FATHER KNOWS THE THINGS YOU HAVE NEED OF BEFORE YOU ASK HIM (Matthew 6:8 NKJV).
Let me break this important fact down to you guys by using a parallel human example between my daughter and me. I studied my daughter’s habits, I know when to change her diaper, feed her, and give her things that I know that she’s going to ask me for. In fact, I have everything already laid out for her in-advance I just don’t give it to her until she asks me (Got the Point!) When we go to the park I have all the latest toys that she will ask for so I bring a huge duffle bag with me. I have ballons--for water-ballons fights, water pistols, football, and basketball. Then I have another bag with her pampers and changing pamper equipment her juice and snacks.
Your Heavenly Father is the same way based on your relationship to Him is what He will have ready for you the things you need at the job, the career, the promotion at work, the connection to make your invention become a reality, or your small business to boom in sales. Whatever it is that you are currently involved in OUR HEAVENLY FATHER wants to be in communication with you so HE may be able to move you into the blessing that you have asked HIM for in your PRIVATE PRAYER. He knows you need a car, He knows that you need a job, He knows that you need a husband or a wife, He knows things about you that you don’t know about yourself. This is why we must ask and then wait on Him to bring it into our lives. Timing is key with OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. We want it tomorrow He has it for us next month, next year or in 5 years when He sees the time is right for us to have it.
So our approach to prayer should be with the level of confidence that we know to be true in what Jesus said here; 1) not to be Hypocritical. 2) Go into our private rooms to pray. 3) Don’t be repetitive but clearly make our request known to OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. 4) And finally, know that HE KNOWS WHAT WE NEED BEFORE WE ASK HIM.
In my next article, we will go into the OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN PRAYER God willing amen.