Theme: PRAYER: The Most Intimate Time With God

Scripture: Mathew 6:5-15

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standingin the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Reflection: In this passage Jesus gives a number of warnings. Don’t pray to be seen or for people to think of you as more holy than you are. Don’t keep on babbling as if the more words you use the more persuasive you are with God.  After instructing us how not to pray, he then goes on to instruct us how to pray. “Our Father” is how we start, and how crazy is it that we call God the creator and sustainer of all things OUR Father!
Jesus goes on to tell us to proclaim His Holy name, to ask for his kingdom to come, and for his will to be done here just like it is in heaven.  We are to ask him to provide for our daily needs, and to forgive us just as we are to forgive others because of his great grace. He also tells us to ask him to lead us away from temptation and to protect us from the evil one, Satan.
The question for me is,  “What is God’s heart in all of this?  What is his desire when we come to him in prayer?”
I just can’t get away from the beginning of that prayer, “Our Father”.  His heart is that we come with our heart, just as we are. After all, he knows us and knows what we need.  I can’t help but think that what he wants is for us to come to him in reverence, He is God after all, but in honesty and with our whole heart.
In sadness, joy, heartbreak and great blessing, in business and in rest, he wants us to know that he is a holy Father, and for us to want what his heart wants.  For a kingdom to come with many children and for our great King to rule it. It’s to this great King and Father that we pray to.
What gives us such a privilege to ask all these things from God?  As we prepare for the Easter season reflect on Jesus.  Jesus after all is the one that has purchased such an undeserved gift…. coming to God, “Our Father”. So put away every excuse, and pray to your Father and King from your heart.