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One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” Luke 11:1-4 NIV
Many years ago I was baby-sitting my niece and nephew for the evening. When it was time for them to hop into bed, before I turned out the lights I asked them if they wanted to say a good night prayer. My nephew said “I don’t know how to pray.”
We must admit that the Lord’s Prayer says what needs to be said. Yet, this abridged version contains only 34 words. That is all!
Much can be written about prayer. Here are just a few basic things to keep in mind when approaching God in prayer: 1) God already knows what you need. He knows better than you yourself know. 2) God wants you to speak from your heart. Be sincere and honest. Do not hide from God. 3) Ask God to give to you what he wants to. Remember, he already knows what is best for you. 4) Acknowledge God for who He is. He is the All Mighty! 5) Be humble before God. We are sinners. We need to be forgiven. Christ died that we would be forgiven. 6) Let go of wrong doings others have done against you. It is for your well-being and so that you will not be judged. 7) We are weak and can easily succumb to wrong. Ask God to provide protection from temptation. These few steps took more than the 34 words contained within the prayer of the Lord as shown above.
God does not want us to ramble on in prayer. He knows what we need. He wants to see if we come to Him humbly with a sincere, open, honest, and loving heart. We can receive what we ask for in prayer if we listen to what Christ says to us about prayer.
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