No magical formula: HOW to pray


IMG_2444And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words — Matt. 6:7 NASB.

It seems clear enough to me that there is no right way to pray, no right words, no right syntax. God looks at the heart. As a matter of fact, Rom. 8:28 suggests that “groaning” can be prayer. I’d say God definitely looks at the heart and understands even the unspoken. So there’s no “aberacadabra.” Your attitude is what counts.

Some kids at my church.

Some kids at my church.

I remember when I was in junior high, we said the pledge of allegiance every day. Truthfully, I mouthed the words from memory without weighing their significance. It was perfunctory, a civic ritual void of civic feeling. Maybe you said the pledge with burning passion everyday. I wish I could say that of myself. It was more like playing a recording.

So prayer ought to be with the burning passion. If you repeat “the Lord’s prayer,” savor its every word. Otherwise, dissect it, understand it completely like a Shakespearian sonnet, and follow it’s patterns with original prayers. In my next post, I’ll give you a quick dissection of the Lord’s prayer, which I personally use more as a example than a magical formula.

14 responses to “No magical formula: HOW to pray

  1. Several years ago I annotated Larry Lea’s outline of the Lord’s Prayer with appropriate Scripture (he was in seminary when and where I was, but we didn’t know each other), and I got permission from him to use that. If you’re interested, I’ll get it to you.

  2. Thank you for that reminder today.. He is our Abba, Daddy, Father, kindhearted toward us …. loving and knowing, even to the depth of our deepest thoughts. He fully knows us and completely loves us in Christ. He invites us to share with Him, not so much that He would understand what we need, but more so that we would understand who He is and how much He loves us. Wishing you a prayer-filled day today 🙂

  3. Thanks for this.. I’ve gone through a point when I treated God as my ENglish teacher and thought that if I prayed using more spiritual sounding vocabulary, he’d be more pleased… It’s very foolish now that I think of it… A result of not really understanding who God is in my life. Thanks for this wonderful reminder.. 🙂 Also, thanks for liking some of my posts. God bless you!

  4. the Pledge – what a great analogy – very good word.

  5. You really sum up well what most people miss altogether. God listens to the heart. Exactly right. Cheers to you. 🙂

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