Jesus teaches us how to pray

Reading: Matthew 6:5-15

Have you ever thought about what a wonderful relationship Christ had with His Heavenly Father while He was living on the earth? He talked to His Father often and believed that His Father heard Him. With His Father’s help, Christ could face the problems of the world with a strong faith and a willing heart, with kindness towards others no matter how they treated Him. Christ never worried or fretted, and although there were times He grieved or became angry, He was able to overcome these trials.

What was Jesus’ “secret”? He knew how to pray. He knew that He could not face this world without His Father. He knew how to tell His Father what He needed, and how to wait for the answer to His prayers.

Are those things we can learn? If they weren’t, then Christ would never have taught us to pray, would He? And yet here in these verses we find it ~ Christ teaching us to talk to our Father, the same way He did.

Remember that when you pray, Christ is in Heaven praying with you, bringing your prayer to His Father. Do not be afraid to pray, and do not take prayer lightly. It is a wonderful, holy pathway to the Everlasting and Almighty Creator.
As you think about Christ’s prayer, and then read the poem below, think about how much we forfeit when we fail to pray.

IF I HAD PRAYED

Perhaps the day would not have seemed so long,
The skies would have not seemed so gray,
If on my knees in humble prayer
I had begun the day.

Perhaps the fight would not have seemed so hard –
Prepared, I might have faced the fray,
If I had been alone with Him
Upon my knees, to pray.

Perhaps I might have cheered a broken heart
Or helped a wand’rer on the way.
If I had asked to be a light
To some dark soul today.

I would remember just the pleasant things,
The harsh words that I meant to say
I would forget, if I had prayed
When I began the day.

I think I would have met life’s harder trials
With hopeful heart and cheerful smile,
If I had spoken with my Lord
Just for a little while.

And, if I pray, I find that all is well;
All cares at His dear feet are laid.
My heart is glad, the load is light,
Because I first have prayed.

~ M. Joyce Roder*

For Further Study:

  • Sometimes when I find that I am having trouble praying, I turn to the book of Psalms in my Bible. Some of the Psalms are prayers that were turned into songs. Take a look at these Psalms and see the many things about which we can pray: Psalm 5, 6, 9, 17, and 25.
  • Look at Christ’s model prayer in Matthew 6. Notice how they cover every aspect of the Christian life ~ praise to God, physical needs, spiritual needs, and then ending with praise again. Do your prayers cover these things? Think about what you would like to pray about right now. Which category would it fall in? What is missing from your payers?

* this poem was found in The Sourcebook of Poetry by Al Bryant

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