“Real” Prayer

Posted by Karah

img_7282Pause

Read Psalm 63:1-2 aloud. Make this your personal prayer as you begin your quiet time today.

As you read Matthew 6:5-8 in your Bible, notice that Jesus was once again challenging the genuineness of a believer’s actions. Prayer is supposed to be an intimate conversation with the Father rather than an opportunity to promote our own good works.

“But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” —Matthew 6:6

Thoughtfully answer the following questions:

-How are we not to pray? Jot down some ideas about what that looks like.

-Circle a phrase you use frequently in your prayers.

In Jesus’ name

Be with me today

Bless this food

Other: _____________

It’s easy to get into the habit of repeating “prayer” phrases without giving much thought to what we’re saying. Jesus also cautions us against praying so that others will see how “spiritual” we are. Worrying about what others think of us when we pray aloud turns our focus away from God. When you pray aloud, who are you impressing?

-What kind of prayer honors God?

-Prayer is about being intimate with God, holding nothing back. He wants you to be real with Him. Does that describe your prayer life? Why or why not?

Respond

-Before you pray, pause to think about the One to whom you’re praying. Meditate on God in all His glory, majesty, and power.

-Have a conversation with God. Thank Him, honor Him, confess, and offer your requests, but in all of it, be honest with God. Really focus on what you’re saying and don’t just go through the motions. Record your prayer in your journal if writing helps you to focus.

-Examine your prayers. Are you repeating phrases or truly seeking to align your heart with God’s? Are your prayers more about telling God what to do or asking Him to work in your life and reveal His ways to you?

For further study read Psalm 88 and pay attention to how real David’s prayer was.

Behind the Story

The word “hypocrite” used in today’s Scripture passage comes from the Greek word hypokritai which means stage actors. It refers to one who wears a mask and puts on a show for an audience, but when the audience is gone, the mask comes off and his or her true self shows.

The Point

Prayer is an intimate conversation, not an opportunity to show off our own righteousness.


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