How to Pray

 In Catalyst

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” (Matthew 6:9, NIV)

We started a new sermon series last week and we’re looking at the spiritual disciplines Jesus taught his disciples. One of the more important ones is prayer.

When Jesus was asked by one of the twelve: “Teach us how to pray,” Jesus responded with the famous “Lord’s Prayer.”  It is beautiful prayer in many ways, but to me it is most astounding in its simplicity!

In the Greek, the prayer consists of only 58 words. Fifty-eight! And yet, in the two minutes it takes to pray them, Jesus acknowledged the character of God, God’s sovereignty in the universe, he surrendered to the Father’s will, he petitioned the Father for provision, protection, and guidance. It may be simple, but it isn’t simplistic!

And when this is done with sincerity, it moves heaven.

True, you might not impress others.  The hypocrites pray “better” prayers.  They are longer. They use weightier vocabulary. They are deep in theological understanding. They are quite impressive.  But they don’t move God (see Matt: 6:5-8).

When you and I become comfortable with simple, authentic prayers – though others might not be impressed (see John 7:15) – we’ll really begin to grow in our prayer lives.  But as long as we’re concerned about what others think, our prayers won’t make it past the ceiling (see Matt. 6:5)

See you Sunday!