By // Compass Christian Church
This past Sunday, guest speaker and Pastor John Jenkins delivered a powerful message entitled “How to Pray.” He helped us explore Matthew 6:5-15, where Jesus not only gave us the Lord’s Prayer, but also gave us some excellent guidelines for a dynamic and authentic prayer life. In his sermon, Pastor John reminded us to:
Avoid Public Performances (v. 5)
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day loved their positions of power. They loved the influence they had over people and the accolades that came with being a leader in the community. They loved to be seen and heard, especially when they could be spiritual show offs.
Present Private Petitions (v. 6)
Although it’s not wrong to pray publicly, Jesus reminds us that private and secret prayer is where the real connection happens. Those who pray with wrong motives have already received their reward in full – they got the recognition they were seeking. But those who go to Jesus privately will be given true rewards.
Eliminate Programmed Phrases (v. 7-8)
Religious people in the ancient world loved to babble on and on in prayer. They thought that if they found just the right words, and said them enough times, their gods would hear them and grant their requests. Jesus, again, referred to God as “Father,” and stressed the relational aspect of Him knowing and supplying our every need.
Practice Proper Pattern (v. 9-13)
To combat those false paradigms of prayer, Jesus then gave His disciples a model prayer. We know it as the Lord’s Prayer. Take a moment right now to read the Lord’s Prayer, slowly, line by line. Turn it into a conversation with God rather than a memorized transaction.
Jesus’ teaching on prayer shows us that authentic, dynamic prayer to God is different. It takes humility. It takes honesty. And the really good news about prayer? It’s not a magic formula; rather, it’s a conversation with our Father in heaven, who loves us and invites us to love Him and others.