Pray Sincerely

Series: MasterClass | Week 6: Teach Us to Pray

Day Two Matthew 6:7-8

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” – Matthew 6:7-8

Learn From the Word
Jesus has called out the religious elite when teaching His followers how not to pray and now He uses the example of the pagans to teach us the same lesson. The term Gentile here refers to anyone who worshipped gods other than the one, true God of Israel. Their prayers were usually full of mindlessly repeated words and names. Jesus isn’t condemning persistence or repetition. He’s simply prohibiting empty words motivated by a heart seeking to manipulate God. Since God already knows our needs, the point of prayer is to draw near to our heavenly Father because we recognize He is the only One who can do anything about those needs. Our hearts and posture are changed before Him when we pray.

Put It Into Practice
How are you doing with your plan of action from yesterday? If you haven’t come up with one and shared it with a friend, do it today. Remember Jesus will eventually end the Sermon on the Mount with these words: “Everyone who hears these words of mine AND puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24, NIV, emphasis added). God wants to connect with us, and prayer is how we do that.

For Families with Kids at Home
Sometimes it can feel like we need to say exactly the right words for God to hear us. But truthfully, God always hears us because we’re His children. It’s not about saying just the right thing - it’s about communicating your honest thoughts and feelings to your Heavenly Father. If your kids have ever been nervous to pray, encourage them that as long as they’re sincere, every prayer they pray is a good one!