The Gospel of Luke

How to Pray - Part 3

This devotional is written by Charlotte Anderson. Charlotte is currently running the The Prayer Course and is the lady to chat to about all things prayer.

Matthew 6:6-13 (The Passion Translation)

6 But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God, praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly. 7 When you pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases, praying like those who don't know God, for they expect God to hear them because of their many words. 8 There is no need to imitate them, since your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.


Welcome to part 3 of my series on how to pray! My dream is to see everyone in St Mary's experiencing a deep and fulfilling prayer life and my hope is that these devotionals will help equip you. Last time we thought about how important it is to have a place to pray to help you form a habit. We have also seen how the disciples had to ask Jesus how to pray and that the best first step is simply asking Jesus to teach us how to pray and being open to the Spirit's lead.

I don't know about you but sometimes when I pray, I find it hard to get the words out right. I sense the prayer in my heart but to be honest getting it into the English language isn't always easy. I find verse 7 so comforting, God knows what we need before we even ask. We don't need a lot of words because he already knows what is in our hearts. Today, I want to focus on choosing to be still and aware of God's presence at the beginning of a prayer time. I think sometimes it easy to rush into sharing all our needs, but God already knows each one (verse 8). God wants us to ask for the things we need but I think he also wants to simply spend time with us as a friend too. This is one of my favourite parts of prayer. It is all about simply being with God and receiving his love and responding by expressing your love for him. It is the place in prayer where I often feel closest to God as I become more aware of his presence and his love for me.

Why don't you spend some time with God now?

Invite God to come and be with you and still yourself. You may want to focus on your breathing and repeat a simple phrase like 'Jesus, you are welcome here' to help you do this. Be still and rest in God's presence. When distractions come, focus again on your breathing or simple prayer and bring yourself back to a place of stillness. If God drops a thought into your mind speak to him about it then return to being still.

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