Righteous Prayer

Do you ever get the feeling that you don’t what to pray? If you’re ever at a loss for words, Jesus can help you. In Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV), Jesus shared with us His , “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” The beauty of His ideal prayer can be said verbatim, or it can be used as a template regarding individual circumstances.

Some people feel that the individuality of a prayer is what makes it meaningful. The belief that words lose their meaning overtime simply because they are repeated is a false one. The only time when words like, “I love you” lose their meaning is when a person lets them. Like any parent, God wants honest and heartfelt communication from His children. In Matthew 6:5-8, Jesus mentions that talking to God is not an opportunity to show off. Nor are longer prayers intrinsically better than shorter ones.

John 15:7 (ESV) speaks to a prayer’s necessity for honest desire, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Now if we pray for something self-less and we feel the prayer went unanswered then a change of perspective is needed. Perhaps God did answer the prayer and His goodness did prevail, but it wasn’t in the way we first expected. Rather than focusing on trials and their potential outcomes, focusing on goodness is a great way to increase your faith in God. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Lastly, a third key component of prayer is trust. Faith is what gives you the confidence to know that God wants to hear your honest emotions and feelings. Habakuk sums up righteous prayer, especially prayer amidst hardship in Habakuk 3:16-18 when he said, “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.