On Day 7 each week of our study we will reflect on a longer passage of Scripture. Today’s text comes from The Message translation. This is Jesus teaching his disciples how to pray. For many of us praying, and particularly praying out loud for others in our band meetings, can be an intimidating thing. With prayer we encourage bandmates to, as Pete Greig suggests, “Keep it simple, keep it real, and keep it up.” We will dive into that in greater detail next week. For today, reflect on these words from Jesus from Matthew 6:5–13.
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right; do what’s best—as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. Your in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.”
God, help me to have more natural conversation with you throughout this day. I ask you, Jesus, just as your disciples once asked you—Lord, teach me to pray. Amen.
Do you find it easy or challenging to pray out loud with others? Why?
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