7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Jesus spoke about the practice of prayer in verses 5-15 of chapter 6, which the Pharisees loved to perform publicly. Rather than making prayer a matter between an individual and God, the Pharisees had turned it into an act to be seen by men—again, to demonstrate their supposed righteousness. Their prayers were directed not to God but to other men, and consisted of long, repetitive phrases (Matt. 6:7). Jesus condemned such practices. Instead prayer should be addressed to your heavenly Father, who is unseen (cf. John 1:18; 1 Tim. 1:17) and who knows what you need (Matt. 6:8). There is nothing wrong to follow a method on how to pray, but it is your intent and heart behind the reason for praying that matters. Who do you want to please? The person next to you, or God?
Prayer is a normal conversation with God. If you are not sure where to start, you can try the following method (From Ps. Dale’s Rice & Beans workshop).
How to have a 10-minute quiet time (using P.R.A.Y.)
- (1 min) Pause – sit quietly for a minute, stilling your soul.
- (2 min) Rejoice – read a short Psalm or listen to a worship song.
- (3 min) Ask – Tell God what’s on your heart. Pray through your day.
- (3 min) Yield – Read a few verses from the New Testament, until a phrase pops out at you and then talk to God about it. Are there any sins you need to confess? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh.
- (1 min) Amen – Pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
It’s easy for us to feel isolated, effectively quarantined. Pray that people will still be able to reach out and support one another and feel supported. Use Hebrews 10:25 as a reference as you pray for your/our community.