There is an assumption that prayer is part of the Christian’s life. The operative word is “when” not “if” you pray. Prayer is not only essential for the believer in “getting” things from God…it’s really the way God gets things done through man. It’s the active way God communicates with us. We have his word which is static and established but prayer is dynamic and fluid.
Prayer is vitally important for having relationship with God. Reading the Word is like reading a document, albeit the document is alive and full of life. Prayer is the interaction and dialogue between God and man.
The passage talks about not being like people who “pray” to be heard by others. What can others do anyway in regard to prayer? Only God has the means and ability to answer prayers. Yes, he uses people at times to do so but ultimately God alone is the answerer of our prayers.
Prayer is not about being heard by anyone other than God. What good is it if everyone else can hear you but not God? God wants us to meet with him in secret about our greatest longings and desires. God desires intimacy with us. Prayer is meant to be just that: an intimate dialogue between us and God.
Prayer is not meant to be a memorized rote saying. It’s meant to be something that flows from our hearts to the very heart of God. It is also a time when God conveys his heart to us. Prayer is really about alignment. We align our hearts with God. We uncover our desires to him and he uncovers his will for us. We discover who God is and we discover his plan.
Prayer is not a time to make God aware of what we need. He knows what we need. It’s meant to bring us to God so that we can see how he will meet those needs.
The “Lord’s” prayer and perhaps more accurately noted as the “model” prayer or “disciple’s” prayer is given as an example for people who are serious about prayer.
We are to recognize that God Our Father is in Heaven. He is the supreme ruler of all and capable to meet any need or want we have.
Our prayers should come to him with full intention to glorify his name. The things we ask for are not be simply be things we want to “consume” but things that would actually be part of helping us contribute to God’s work on earth. When we pray it is about God’s kingdom and not our own. We are not part of a democracy where we get votes for God’s will. God’s kingdom is a Theocracy and a Monarchy. God does outline that it is within his will for us to ask for what we need. We need sustenance and daily provisions of food and water. We daily need to forgive and be forgiven. We daily need to be led and given guidance for life.
We lack the provision, guidance and deliverance because we really don’t walk in tune with God’s Spirit through constant prayer. Prayer is meant to be a constant in our lives, a direct and continual connection. Saying “Amen” is not meant to end the conversation; it’s meant to be an agreement with God in the commencement of His action on our behalf.
As we pray, we are told to forgive. Forgiveness has much to do with our prayer lives as God outlines it a couple of times in scripture. This is one case and here are a few more: Colossians 3:13, James 5:15-16. The forgiveness of sins between God and among each other effects our prayers and their effectiveness.