How Should We Pray?

Here’s a glimpse of the spiritual atmosphere faced by AWM workers in the Arab world.

‘It’s Friday, a little after midday. This is the day of prayer. The weather is warm. The air is heavy and quiet but for passing traffic and some bird song. Then from a distant mosque a familiar sound, begins to fill the heavy atmosphere.

Before the prayer call, we hear a chorus of mosques chanting for some twenty minutes. This is followed by respectful pauses and then the familiar words of the prayer call fill the air from all around.

“There is no God but God, and Muhammed is his prophet,” it repeats.

After this all is quiet for a while, at least until the preaching starts. Then we are back to the bird song and the occasional vehicle.’

Jesus’ call to prayer

In the Bible, Jesus instructs his disciples on how to pray prayers that please God.

‘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.’ Matthew 6:6-7

For Jesus, prayer is not a religious ritual. It’s a powerful personal encounter with a loving Heavenly Father.

‘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.’ Matthew 6:7-8

For Jesus, prayer is not about convincing the Creator to take notice of you. It’s about sharing the contents of your heart before a holy all-knowing God.

‘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.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:9-13

What a wonderful blessing to be able to commune with our loving Heavenly Father at any time of the day or night.

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