Do You Pray Right?
“But we can praise the LORD both now and forever!” Psalm 115:18a (NLT)…
If you’ve ever wondered if you’re praying “right”, let me just state I don’t believe there is a “right” way. Prayer is simply communication, between you and God. Still, Jesus has much to tell us about prayer:
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For thine is the Kingdom, power and glory forever, Amen.’” Matthew 6:5-13
Verses 9-13 are commonly referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer,” but I think it should be called “The Disciples’ Prayer.” This is not a deeply personal prayer between Jesus and His Father. Clearly He was modeling for the disciples, and us! We can learn so much from His example.
The first three petitions of this prayer focus on the glory of God:
- “Our Father in Heaven”- He wishes to have us approach His holiness with the faith and love that a little child has for his daddy.
- “Hallowed be your name” – We are to honor God for His character; this shows reference and praise.
- “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” – We can’t ask for His will until we let go of our will.
The second set of petitions focus on our personal needs:
- “Give us today our daily bread” – Scripture tells us that He meets all our needs (Phil. 4:19).
- “And forgive us our debts (sins, trespasses), as we also have forgiven our debtors.” – If we are clinging on to some un-confessed sin, our fellowship with God will be broken. Let’s also remember to forgive those who have sinned against us.
- “And lead us not into temptation” – We all need the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of God’s word to keep us on track.
This “Disciples’ Prayer” is not a formula. It teaches us about God and our relationship with Him—how to communicate with Him. Let’s keep it personal, remembering to praise God before we lay out our needs and He truly loves us and really just wants us to spend time with Him.
The Power of Truth:
“Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” Psalm 147:1
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phil. 4:6
Suggestion for Prayer:
Focus first on God’s glory and then make your personal needs known.