“When you pray, go to your room and close the door. Pray privately to your Father who is with you. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you. When you pray, don’t ramble like heathens who think they’ll be heard if they talk a lot. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you should pray…”
Keep it simple.
The religious hypocrites of Jesus’ day thought God heard them better when their prayers were loud and long. They stood to pray in the synagogues and raised their hands on street corners. They rambled along with empty words. Jesus said, “Don’t do that.” Then he said, “Pray like this.”
Jesus taught a simple pattern of prayer. His followers should worship God and declare his holiness. They invite him to reign in their lives and everywhere on earth. They trust him with every real need. They voice forgiveness of others, the same mercy the Lord has shown them. They plead not to be lured into evil.
Nothing says you should or shouldn’t recite Jesus’ words verbatim, but his intent is that your prayers not slide into the sameness of empty repetition. Let go of your own ideas of prayer and banish from your mind all the overblown words you have ever heard. Let your prayers become what the Lord says they should be. Reverent. Obedient. Dependent. Merciful. Pure. Simple.
Inspired by Matthew 6:5-15