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  • East Martin CRC

Keys to Prayer

Matthew 6:5-8

Verse 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.

Yesterday we mentioned getting one on one with the Lord so that we could give Him our burdens. Today we further this thought about getting alone with Him.

In our key verse we see Jesus telling His listeners that when they were going to pray that they should go to a place and make it so that they were alone. Notice it doesn’t say, “if you are going to pray” but rather says, “when you go to pray.” Jesus was not saying that praying is an option for His followers and neither is it for us. It was a given that He people would be people of prayer.

So why was Jesus so insistent about getting alone to pray? He wasn’t saying that this was the only way to pray but He is showing us that personal times of prayer are important in our being in a relationship with Him. He knew that to stay connected with Him we needed to talk with Him. And so here He gives us the specifics of how to talk to Him. These verses come just before He teaches His disciples to pray what we call the Lord’s Prayer.

Before giving them a sample prayer He points out some specifics to remember. We aren’t to pray to make others see us. If we have this motive it proves our focus isn’t really on God but rather is our trying to glorify ourselves. Jesus points out that people who do that have already had their reward. On the other hand, as our key verse tells us today, if we pray in the secret of our quiet time with God, will be rewarded by God. We will be rewarded by a deeper relationship with God.

Next Jesus says that we are not to pray as the pagans do, babbling on and on. This isn’t to say that He doesn’t want us to bring our concerns to Him but that we don’t need to use a bunch of needless words to win over the hearing of God. Pagans would beg their gods to listen and use many words, even thinking that certain ways of phrasing things would get their gods to listen. Jesus tells us that God wants to hear from us and already knows what we will be asking for. We may find it odd that He wants us to tell Him what He already knows but we often ask people to tell us what we already know so that they know we know. He wants us to know that we can come to Him. No matter what it is we need to say.

Making It Personal

What things does God know you need to pray about? Have you been holding back out of fear of revealing what is really in your heart? Are you ready to trust God with what you are afraid to admit?

Making It Personal Kids

Why may you be afraid to tell Jesus what you are thinking? Do you have something you want to tell Him today? It feels good to talk to Jesus, doesn’t it?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for wanting us to tell You what is going on in our hearts. Help us always to talk to You as You would want us to. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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