“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. “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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.
There are several reasons why people don't pray:
- Feeling unworthy.
If you don't pray because you feel unworthy, remember that the tax collector was justified, not the Pharisees.
- Feeling that prayer is only one way communication.
Prayer is not really a one-way communication. When we pray earnestly, we will hear God's voice. If we don't pray, we won't hear God's voice.
- Feeling that prayer will not be answered/unbelieving.
Some people believe that God is unable to answer their prayer. There are people who believe God can but God doesn't want to. Don't pray with a "just trying my luck" attitude. Believe that God will answer prayer, but in His way.
In prayer, there is a supernatural blessing, which human intelligence cannot produce, and is divine in nature. God’s power to answer prayer is beyond human comprehension.
For that, let's learn to pray as taught by the Lord Jesus:
Just like when communicating with our fathers in this world, we must remain polite and present ourselves accordingly, but not with rigid protocol.
This is how to pray like the Lord Jesus taught through "The Lord's Prayer":
- Praising the Lord
Matthew 6:9 "Therefore pray thus, Our Father which is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name"
Begin your prayer with praise and thanksgiving. When you come to God, don't beg right away. Learn to worship Him. Whatever happens, say God is good.
- Pray for the things of heaven first.
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
"Thy kingdom come" means first pray about the Kingdom of God, about the work of God. Don't be selfish and focus only on our problems. In good times or bad, preach the Word. Pray for our families that haven’t known Jesus. Pray also for the restoration of your current condition.
- Pray for your needs
Matthew 6:11 "Give us this day our daily bread"
Don't think about our problems or desires just yet, but ask for what we need first. Believe me, whoever seeks, finds.
- Pray for Your Struggles
Matthew 6:12 "and forgive us our mistakes, as we also forgive those who wronged us"
Regarding point 3, pray and involve God in our struggles and problems. Whatever steals our joy and peace, put it in our prayers.
- Believe in the power of prayer
Matthew 6:13 “and do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For you have the kingdom and power and glory forever and ever. Amen.]” Have faith in our prayer, believe that God is able to answer our prayers. Don't ruin our own prayers. When we say "Amen," our prayer is effective immediately, even though we haven't seen the answer.
Don't be too early to judge the power of our prayers. Live in harmony with our prayer faith. There are times when God works alone through miracles. There are times when God works with us. God is more than capable, more than willing to answer prayers and solve our problems with us.
Excerpted from Philip Mantofa's sermon, April 4, 2020, Instagram Live.