How are we supposed to pray?

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Funny title: How are we supposed to pray? As if there’s a right/wrong way…

There’s no right/wrong way, but prayer starts with the understanding that God’s heart is for us to be engaged in the honest pursuit of relationship with Him for Who He is, not what He does. This is the goal of all true prayer. God wants us to know Him.

Jesus instructed us to keep it simple, honest, humble, natural, and ask for nothing less than heaven to come to earth!

God is not impressed by vanity prayers or spiritual-pride-filled theatrics. He is not impressed by people’s puffed-up notions of spiritual maturity. None of these impress Him. In the history of the human race it has not impressed Him. It never will.

…because unlike people, God sees through everything. He knows everything. Our secret thoughts are not secret to Him. The attitudes and meditations of our heart are on full display before Him. He knows what we are thinking before we say a word. He hears our every conversation. He sees who we are behind closed doors. He knows and sees absolutely everything and He still loves us with an irrepressible, unstoppable love.

When we come before God we can place all the pieces of our life before Him, Psalm 5:3MSG, and confidently know that He does not stand accusing us, He stands waiting longing to embrace us. He wants us to come before Him giving thanks and being open and ready for whatever He wants to do.

Jesus’ instructions on prayer: 

Remember, the world is not our stage…
Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it, It might be good theater, (it might impress a whole lot of people) but the God who made you won’t be applauding… Don’t call attention to yourself… 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? Matthew 6:1,2,5MSG.

Pray with Simplicity. Get alone with God… (put aside the iPhone)
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. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace, Matthew 6:6MSG.

Enjoy God for Who He is, not what He does, then relationship with Him will flow naturally…
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… Matthew 6:7,8MSG.

Affectionately call Him Father, and give Him all glory and honor, for He alone is great and worthy…
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name (Your name be kept holy) Matthew 6:9NIV.

Exchange our will for His. This is essentially what true prayer does: exchange our will for His. Our lives will come into complete conformity to His will, very naturally and easily…
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, Matthew 6:10NIV. This is no small prayer. This is asking that heaven’s realities become ours, here on the earth. God’s will is to extend heaven into the earth through us. I pray this daily.

Like any good father, God is our Perfect Father, we can ask Him to meet every need, He provides generously…
Give us our daily bread, Matthew 6:11.

We can love all people, not holding anything against anyone, but allowing God’s love to flow through us…
Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (fully letting go of resentments, peoples insults or offenses) Matthew 6:12NIV… When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves, Matthew 5:44MSG.

Trust God to keep us on a firm foundation…
Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from the evil one,Matthew 6:13NIV, and keep us safe from ourselves, Matthew 6:13MSG.