5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I come to you in prayer to talk about my personal prayer life.
Jesus here reminds me that I may be tempted to pray in public, perhaps because I feel pressure to pray, but ignore you in my private times when perhaps I need prayer most. Let me not be a hypocrite by praying only to be seen and heard by those who would think of me as spiritual. Let my private prayer times outdo my public prayers. Let my public prayers be a natural outflow of my personal times with you.
Help my prayers not to be full of empty words, but rather full of sincere and meaningful content, offered up freely to you. Let my requests be related to actual needs that you would pleased to meet. Let my praises be true expressions of humble adoration. Help me to be open, honest and plain-spoken. You aren’t listening for artful compositions, but rather looking for the right attitude of heart. Let my heart be right before you.
Father, I know full well that my life depends on you. My standing before you depends on the work of your Son Jesus. You know my needs perfectly. May the Spirit lead me as I pray so that I might pray according to your will. May my prayers not be purely selfish even when I ask things for myself. May they be full of truth at every level. May I always pray with your glory and honor in mind.
And may I be among those who move mountains with my little faith and little prayers.