How to Pray [Matthew 6:7 Daily Devotional]
What is Matthew 6:7 about?
This is an example of Jesus teaching us how to pray. He draws a comparison between how other religions pray, which is through long and drawn-out ramblings that don’t make sense. We’re not to do that, he says. Instead, since God knows what we need even before we ask, we’re supposed to keep our prayers brief.
How to Pray
Let me start this section by saying there’s nothing wrong with long prayers. The problem comes in when someone just keeps rambling on and on with no real point to what they’re saying. That’s the main point of what Jesus is saying here. So if you want to go to that multi-hour-long prayer service, feel free! But don’t think that just because you’re praying for an extremely long time that you’re any more likely to have your prayers heard than anyone else.
So, then, how should you pray? Let’s take a look at the Lord’s Prayer for an example.
- Start with gratitude and praise. Start by first talking about how great God is. Thank him for all he’s done for you and for everything he’s going to do in the future. Praise him that his kingdom is coming and his will is being done on earth.
- State your needs. God knows you need things. As Jesus said, he even knows what you need before asking, so ask boldly for your wants, needs, and desires. You may not get exactly what you want or how and when you want it, but the Father is listening to your prayers.
- Ask for forgiveness. This isn’t about grace; that’s a free gift. This is about interpersonal forgiveness. Ask the Lord to help you forgive others and to inspire others to forgive you. The example in the Lord’s Prayer is about affording people the same forgiveness that Jesus gave you: Complete forgiveness.
- Ask for protection. Spiritual warfare is real. Your car breaking down or running out of gas is not spiritual warfare, but I do believe there is spiritual warfare. Following the example Jesus gave us on how to pray, you should pray for protection from these things. Also, ask the Lord to help you through temptation as it comes, and allow him to protect you as you go through your day.
Father, thank you for taking the time to teach us how to pray. You gave us a solid framework to work with, and I ask that you would help me utilize it more. Give me the wisdom to know what to ask for and the discipline to keep my prayers from rambling on. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.