Topic: How Not To Pray
Text: Matthew 6:5-8
Key Verses: “Whenever you pray, be sincere and not like the pretenders who love the attention they receive while praying before others in the meetings and on street corners. Believe me, they\’ve already received their reward.
But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God, praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly.
When you pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases, praying like the Gentiles do, for they expect God to hear them because of their many words. There is no need to imitate them since your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. – Matthew 6:5-8
“Prayer is not only an art to be learned, it is an attitude and habit that should be acquired and developed. It is also a spirit that must engulf the believer like wildfire.” Debo Daniel
Everyone defines prayer according to their level of maturity and experience; how do you define it? Everyone prays, but only very few get answers. That means there is a right or wrong way to pray.
Jesus is the only one who had a 100% return on his prayers. Every prayer he made that was heard publicly received an answer. He knew the art of private and public prayers, knew the wrong ways people had practiced praying and left us an example to follow in the scriptures.
What is your attitude towards prayer? Something you do only as a last resort or an occasional delight? How often do you pray, is it a habit or something you do haphazardly? The spirit of prayer is acquired and developed.
“and I will pour out on the house of David and those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look to me, whom they pierced.” They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son; they will be in bitterness on his behalf like the bitterness for a firstborn son.” – Zechariah 12:10 JCB
Your prayer must be targeted at God and not at the men around you, so it must be sincere because God sees your heart and knows your motives; there is nothing hidden before him, so he does not need to be impressed or patronized.
Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. – Psalm 44:21
Public prayer should be a reflection of your normal communication with God; the only difference is you are praying with others or on behalf of others. Keep it real, or you lose the reward and end up with the applause of men and the painful outcome of unanswered prayer. Don’t use words you don’t understand, don’t use expressions you don’t believe in, and keep your prayer relational.
Build your private prayer life before a public prayer ministry. The quality of private praying determines the outcome of public prayers. God rewards publicly what heaven has a record of, from private praying. Build your private personal prayer altar; not your family devotion, but a place of meeting with God alone. Intimate conversations and secrets about heaven’s plans are often revealed on your altar.
Develop your prayer language and style, don’t go to God in another man’s voice. A father knows each child\’s voice, so why do you prefer to speak like a stranger to your heavenly Father. Don’t copy the prayer champion’s words; results, not duration or semantics, matter.
Why do we chant specific phrases before we start the prayer? Who do we want to invoke? Use the name and blood of Jesus according to the revelation you have received from the Holy Spirit in prayer. Even in spiritual warfare, the battle strategies were never the same. Prayer must be in union with the Holy Spirit or it will lack the potency to yield favorable outcomes.
Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you – Ephesians 6:10 TPT
As you reflect on these thoughts, have you discovered new things about praying to God? what habits do you need to unlearn? What attitudes should you change to ensure you get improved results from prayer?
Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years! Then he prayed again and the skies opened up over the land so that the rain came again and produced the harvest. – James 5:17-18 TPT
Heavenly Father, teach us to pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.