The ABC’s of Lent | Prayer | Matthew 6.5-9 |

by | Mar 25, 2020

“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. 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like 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. “This, then, is how you should pray…” Matthew 6.5-9

I’m sitting in a comfy rocking chair at our family ranch. It’s spring and beautiful. It’s quiet save for the singing birds, buzzing bees and sounds of water from the stream beside me. It’s a far cry from the craze of the big cities especially now with our world in turmoil with the COVID-19 virus. And in light of all this, prayer is the topic of today’s conversation.

Prayer. It’s something we all do, consciously or subconsciously. We all pray. Either we talk to ourselves or to God. We pray without ceasing as Paul once encouraged the early church Christians to do. We converse with the one who created us. We share thoughts, feeling, fears and faith. We offer worship, gratitude, frustrations and sometime anger. We do all this through prayer which I define as our souls touching the heart of God.

Jesus has a lot to say about prayer. In perhaps the most popular prayer in Christian history, the Lord’s Prayer or what some call the Our Father, Jesus tells us how to pray. In this passage, I have not included the actual prayer but the precursor to that prayer. This is with that hope that after you meditate upon these words, you will pray the Lord’s Prayer. Read it from Matthew 6 or recite it for memory. But pray. Talk to God. Bring him your requests, needs, wants and affection.

Jesus said, “When you pray…” It was not “if” you pray, but “when” you pray. He was talking to Jews who prayed. But isn’t he also talking to us? We all pray. (As I mentioned early.) So “when” you pray -don’t pray like hypocrites…pray in secret, in your room, with the door closed to your Father God who is also unseen, Jesus says. And once you pray in secret, your Father who sees what you are doing, will reward you. In addition, when you pray, don’t babble on and on. This then, Jesus says, is how you should pray….

Today with the world in turmoil, when most of us in isolation, practicing social distancing, turn to the Lord. Trust in this moment. Talk to him this moment. Allow him to teach you not only how to pray but the significance of communication with your Lord.

“O Lord God, you are good. In my time of trial, you comfort me. Even in the midst of a world which is struggling, you are faithful. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill your people with your presence. Help us know the power of your love and the truth in your hand. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen