There are a variety of ways people pray. Jesus shares some tremendous insight regarding how to pray to God in Matthew 6:5-13.
“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think prayers are answered only by repeating words over and over again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
In the above verses, Jesus shares how NOT to pray:
- Verse 5: We are to pray in secret, not the way people did in His day — praying out loud publicly, primarily to just be seen, and heard.
- Verse 6: Jesus asks us to go to a private place since our Heavenly Father already knows what we are going to pray about.
- Verse 7: Jesus tells us not to ramble on and on, as people of other religions do, or be repetitious with words. God, our heavenly Father, would have us be specific about our prayer.
- Verse 8: Jesus reiterates that the believer is not to pray repetitiously like the heathen.
Next, Jesus, teaches us how to pray:
- Verse 9: Jesus says we should give honor to God and His name.
- Verse 10: We are to pray for His Kingdom to come, and for His will to be done, that there would be a heavenly or godly presence here on earth.
- Verse 11: We are to pray for daily provision.
- Verse 12: We are to pray and ask for forgiveness for our sins, and for others who have wronged us.
- Verse 13: We are to pray and ask God to keep us from being tempted, and to deliver us from Satan and his power.