by Robert Brock
The Way We Should Always Pray
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:9, 10.
In Jesus’ instructions in the Sermon on the Mount, one sees two sets of instructions regarding prayer. The first is private prayer. “But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret” (Matthew 6:6). “Thou” is singular. Often, there are things we are thankful for that are private, not for public information. “Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do” (verse 7), Jesus qualified this; it is not some older, nervous man using Lord over and over; it’s heathen repetitions, meaning mantras. The Muslims must say Allah’s name hundreds of times a day in memorized prayers. Catholics say the entire Rosary, asking Mary to be their mediator thirty times. The heathen mantras, repeating their god’s name over and over to the point of exhaustion, is basically an unknown tongue used for self-hypnotism, praying to a dead idol that could do nothing for them. Jesus teaches, do not do that. God is looking for a broken heart and contrite spirit, not a bunch of gibberish. Some modern Christian music comes close to resembling mantras.
Prayer helps us realize we are helpless without His care and provision. When Jesus began using the word “ye” in this passage, He was speaking of prayer in public worship: our Father, give us, forgive us, lead us and deliver us. These are all plural pronouns, including the entire congregation we are praying with.
THOUGHT: Prayer is one of the most unique parts of the Christian experience; the creature is speaking to his Creator. Then, he studies his Bible, and the Creator is speaking to the creature. How amazing God is! Do not neglect such an awesome privilege.