Today’s reading: Matthew 6:5-13

For those who have ever wondered “what is a ‘good’ prayer supposed to be,” today’s passage is one of the most helpful in the Bible. We learn that prayer ISN’T supposed to be about impressing other people, or trying to say the right series of words to get God to do what we want. If we think of Christianity in terms of being in relationship with God, this makes sense.

Imagine if when talking to a spouse or close friend you were constantly trying to impress people who were listening nearby. You started using big words you wouldn’t use otherwise and speaking Shakespearian English. Or what if you wanted someone to do you a favor so you tried to manipulate them by flattery. Both of these are super-insulting to the person you have a relationship with because you’re devaluing them. You’re trying to USE them rather than BE with them. It’s the same with God. He wants us to see talking with Him as a relational conversation, not a manipulative tool. Because of this prayer SHOULD:

- be a conversation with a loving dad (our Father)
- recognize his bigness/awesomeness (who is in heaven. May your name be honored).
- admit that His plan and way of doing things is better than ours (YOUR kingdom come)
- know it’s okay to ask for what we need, because that’s what a good dad would want (provide for our daily needs)
- ask for His protection from temptation (deliver us from evil)

Today, practice this way of praying. Start by addressing God relationally (you can call him dad if you want – it might feel weird, but He says that’s how He wants us to think of Him!). Focus on believing He cares and is listening, and then admit that His ways and plans are better. Then ask for what you need and for His help and protection.

Want More? Philippians 4:6-7

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