“When you pray, don’t pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they’ll be heard. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask. -Matthew 6:5-8
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(This is a re-post from 2012.)
I recently had something to pray about that was knocking me down inside. As I went to prayer, I remembered what Jesus taught us, that Father already knows, but to pray anyway. Jesus says to pray, knowing that Father knows.
Jesus says that we do not need to inform God. But Jesus' disciples pray. God already knows, but wants our prayers, in secret, with few words, and he will reward us for it. That is what Jesus says.
Jesus gives more instruction on specifically how to pray, and many kingdom things are covered there.
Filtering or processing our particular prayer request through the outline that Jesus gives is helpful. Jesus says:
Pray like this:
Our Father who is in heaven, uphold the holiness of your name.
Bring in your kingdom so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven.
Give us the bread we need for today.
Forgive us for the ways we have wronged you, just as we also forgive those who have wronged us.
And don’t lead us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
“If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.
The lines Jesus speaks on prayer are all launching pads for all encompassing prayers. Disciples are people of prayer, prayers related to God's kingdom activity. Apply your prayer request to each of these launching pads: "bring your kingdom", "give us the bread we need", "rescue us", "forgive us"; and so forth.
But, Jesus says that when you go to prayer, in secret where Father sees; know that he already knows what you need. Exercise your faith. Commune with God in secret, knowing he knows. Still and quiet your soul. Let deep call unto deep. Be a babe in arms. Let God hold you.
Sit in the secret quiet space alone with God. God knows your troubles. Remember that Jesus has opened the way to the Father. He's the way. Bring that to mind. Remember that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, who is the helper, and the comforter. He will help you and comfort you in prayer as you sit with God and know that Father knows.
Weep, dance, sing, give thanks, talk; knowing God knows your need. You can talk to him, cry out to him, cry and weep before him. You can get in any posture that is comfortable. You can whisper or yell. You can be completely inarticulate, because your father does not need information. He wants you.
The disciple (that's me and you, if you are a follower of The Lord Jesus Christ) prays. We pray regularly, because we need God. We need heaven's air, figuratively speaking. We need the bread man from heaven daily. One thing we get settled in our selves, is that God The Father knows and deeply cares about us. He loves me. I have to know that to live as a Jesus follower.
Almighty God, The Father. The Father of Jesus. The creator. He knows my problems. He likes it when I pray to him in secret, because he says he'll reward me for it. It is a rewarding relationship he invites us into. Knowing that he knows and knows even better than I know, gives me peace, builds my faith, and encourages me.