Topic: Praying Aright (Anglican Devotional 16 February 2021)
Today’s Scripture : Matthew 6:5-15 (NKJV)
5. ” And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
6. “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who [is] in the secret [place;] and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7. “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen [do.] For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
9. “In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread.
12. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
On Shrove Tuesday, we prepare ourselves for Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. Prayer is one of the ways to prepare for any spiritual exercise; it is a heart-to-heart talk with God. This is very clear, especially when it is a personal prayer. You make it secret, private and confidential. In 2 Kings 4:32-35, we can see how Elisha entered into the room and shut the door after himself and the dead boy. He prayed to God and took some actions which could only be done in secret. Faith is the ingredient you cannot rule out in prayer.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 cautions against those of too many repetitive words in prayer. The stress here is on vain repetition what we are saying or praying about is important to God. Rashness and speaking in haste without thinking could put us into trouble with God (Numbers 14:28).
Praying aright will involve first turning away from our sins and being obedient to the Word of God. Matthew 6:9-15 teaches us about “The Lord’s Prayer” which is a pattern of prayer. The Prayer has been summarised by some as “ACTS” – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. As the Disciples of Jesus asked Him to teach them to pray, you can ask Him today to also teach you to improve your prayer life.
Lord, teach me to pray aright whether in secret and in the open.