The Lord's Prayer:
The book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 5-15 is perhaps the best instruction for prayer ever offered. The following comes from the New International Reader's Version of the Bible:
"When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by others.
What I'm about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward.
"When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can't be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly.
"When you pray, do not keep talking on and on the way ungodly people do. They think they will be heard because they talk a lot. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask Him.
"This is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
May your kingdom come.
May what you want to happen be done
on earth as it is done in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
Just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.
Save us from the evil one.'
The prayer you've just read is known as "The Lord's Prayer" and it is prayed by Christians the world over. But this is not the only prayer you can pray. Prayer is, after all, a conversation with the Lord.
There are many reasons that people pray. Most commonly, we turn to God when we are in trouble or are sick. We turn to God when we need something. But we can (and should) also pray to God to praise Him and to show gratitude for the many blessings we have received. And, we should also pray in order to listen for what God wants from us.
Make a habit of praying every day. It is often easiest to start saying "grace" before meals. As you become more comfortable with that, you'll find yourself praying more frequently. Over time, you will find that you are in a constant communication with the Lord.
If you would like to learn more about prayer, please join us this Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. for our worship service.