5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 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. 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
One of the things I have always appreciated about the Bible is just how practical it can be. Prayer can be challenging at times for all believers, regardless of spiritual maturity, and often it becomes something we overthink or complicate. How helpful it is to have a guide such as this, detailing a clear way that we can approach God when we talk to Him. This must surely be up there as one of the most well known passages from the whole Bible, yet it’s familiarity should not diminish it’s importance or authority. Reading this passage several times over causes me to think about how often I have, or have not, prayed in such a way.
I am also reminded to think about talking to God as my Father – the only way He is referred to in this passage, several different times! This is a clear indication of the way we can talk to God when we pray, like we would talk to a loving & kind father.
Lord thank you for your words in this scripture! It is so helpful to have clear instructions about how we can talk to you. Help us to approach you as our kind Father, who is always willing and eager to hear from us. Amen.
Written by Madelaine Tarasenko