How to pray...
7 “And when you pray, don’t babble on and on like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 You, therefore, pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy. 10 May your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.
11 Give us the food we need today. 12 Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us. 13 And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One. For kingship, power and glory are yours forever.
14 For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will not forgive yours.
How to pray... The verses above are a prayer most learned as a young child, but often becomes said without feeling or understanding. When was the last time you said this and actually thought about what you were saying?
Jesus once again kept things simple and to the point. This prayer: worships God, requests what we need, reminds us that we need to forgive, and leaves us asking God to keep us from the Evil One. (The words italicized at the end are not in the oldest manuscripts found so some versions choose to leave them out.)
I tied in verses 14 and 15 because they complete the teaching Jesus was giving. In telling the people how to pray, Jesus made it clear that one should do this with the right heart. It is simple, and yet difficult. If you freely come to the Father, than He can freely give. Not always as easy as it sounds.
It is a good reminder for us as we prepare for another Shabbat. How do you pray? Where is your heart? It is time to return to Him and rest...
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