For an Audience of One

Matthew 6:7-8

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 / Unsplash

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6:7–8, ESV  

Prayer, particularly public prayer, is a difficult thing for many people. In many functions, because I am a pastor, I am often designated as the official pray-er. The reality is that prayer is meant for all of us, and the eloquence of the words is not the point. It is what comes from the heart of the person praying. Whether the prayers are written or if they come from the top of a person's head is not what is important. Our Lord gave us what is often called The Lord’s Prayer because He knew and wanted to give all a prayer that could easily be shared. If this is the only prayer that a person feels comfortable praying, so be it. I have known people who criticize this way of praying, but this was given to the disciples by Jesus Christ, and that makes it something great. Again, it’s not the prayer that is the issue, but the heart of a prayer. If someone prays to be recognized for their prayer, they have received their reward from God. In my opinion, we could pray The Lord’s Prayer every minute of every day of a person's life, and it would never lose its depth or its meaning. One may find in doing so that God reveals something more each time it is prayed with a heart focused on God while doing so. Our Lord knows our hearts, and He knows all our needs, but His desire is for us to seek Him at all times in our lives. When we pray, we ultimately are to seek after the face of the One who is of utmost importance and seek to please Him and Him alone. Our prayers are meant for an audience of one, and our prayers are necessary because He desires for us to lift them up. Let us never be ashamed to pray, and let us never feel that our prayers are only necessary if there is no one else to pray them. Pray at all times, knowing that the God who hears hears them all. 

Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.


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