When You Pray

By Not Known

Prayer is one of the most important aspects of the Christian life. It is a great act of private, family and public worship to admire God, apologise to him, beg his pardon, thank him and to depend on him to meet our needs and the needs of others and of his work.

Prayer is also one of the most delightful aspects of the Christian life.When we have had a good time with the Lord in prayer we are refreshed, refocused, reassured and ready to face the world again.

Yet, prayer is also one of the most difficult parts of the Christian life. It challenges our concentration to focus on God and resist the devil’s distractions. It challenges our pride to be thus dependent on God rather than on ourselves. It challenges our activism to be still before god rather than busy for him. It challenges our faith to entrust needs to God rather than try to meet them ourselves.

Notice how Jesus assumes that his people pray. He says … when you pray … not ‘if’ (Mt 6:5). (Note that he also assumes that we fast and give relief to the poor – Mt 6:2 & 16) Prayer ought to be as natural and common place in our lives as talking to our family and closed friends.

Is this so? Do we pray?

Jesus also makes it clear that it is not enough just to pray. We can sin in our prayers. One way is to make prayer a public display calculated to impress people with our piety (Mt 6:1, 5). Or we can sin by making prayer as assertion of our self-righteousness (Luke 18:10- 14).

At heart, prayer is the action of a child to draw aside with day and say what is on his or her mind (Mt. 6: 6- 8). We don’t need many or long words or even to worry about asking of the right things. God knows the needs, loves to hear us ask and will always give well. (Mt 6: 8; 7:7-11)

All this is a great encouragement to pray. There is an art to praying well, but the key is a heart to pray. So let us bright hears that trust, hope and love God and express them in our prayers. And let’s listen to Jesus as he say ‘…when you pray’ and then teach us how to pray.