And when you are praying, do not babble on and on like the pagans; for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Matthew 6:7-8, TLV
When I read this passage this morning, a question arose in my brain, “Do I pray the same way alone as I do in public?” Probably not. How about you?
The way I pray privately is a one-on-one conversation with my Heavenly Father. It can be joyful or sorrowful or angry or desperate or thankful. Other than the occasional, “please God, please, God” my prayers are more like conversations.
What I pray in public, might flow more with prose to be more acceptable to listening ears. Am I distracted with how my prayers sound to others? Most likely.
The passage in Matthew introduces the prayer most prayed around the world, commonly known as, the LORD’s Prayer. But really, Jesus is teaching us how to have a relationship with His Father, and part of doing that is prayer.
‘”Our Father in heaven,Yeshua to His followers, Matthew 6:9-13, TLV
sanctified be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'”
When we talk with and about Jesus, it’s very informal. We kick around with Him like a brother. And I think He loves that. But when we pray to His Father, there’s a reverence and respect that He shows us to be important.
So, how we talk to the Father privately and how we talk to Him publicly probably should be different. Yet, we don’t have to be over-the-top eloquent, just sincere. Out of respect. And out of the knowledge our Father already knows what we need before we ask it.
This beautiful prayer is a way for us to center ourselves in the Father’s presence. Worship, cleansing our heart, gratitude, help for the journey. Simple. Yet, powerful.