How Do I Pray?

Posted on February 19, 2020 by Catey Stover in Victory Call

I was just reading in the first verses of Matthew 6 as Jesus taught the disciples how to pray. Verse 7 says, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” And I got to thinking about what it means to use “vain repetition.”

I must admit that when I pray at prayer meeting or in another “public” setting, I often find myself beginning the same way, praying for the same sorts of things in a fairly formulaic way, thinking to myself, “have I covered everything?” and if the answer is “yes,” ending my prayer usually in the same way. I don’t know if this is what Jesus had in mind when he warned the disciples against “vain repetition,” but that’s what it seems like to my mind. Maybe this is why Jesus also instructs his disciples to “enter into thy closet, and . . .pray to thy Father which is in secret. . . .”

So, why do I find myself praying this way? Is it because I want to sound good, or pious or religious? Maybe I don’t want to embarrass myself because I don’t use the proper language (whatever that might be). I find myself thinking, as I listen to someone else pray, “boy, do I wish I could pray like that.” I find I am impressed by the words, perhaps even more than by the thoughts being expressed.

When I pray at home, or with someone else or by myself, I have no one there but God. I don’t need to – and can’t – impress Him. He knows my heart and how I feel. I can have a conversation with Him just like I might talk on the phone to a friend — laugh, cry, ask questions – openly and honestly. There is no reason for me to try and sound like someone I am not. He knows my innermost thoughts and feelings, and what He wants from me is to just open my mouth and heart and share my joys and sorrows, my hurts and disappointments, my thanksgiving and praises. No need to sound good – just say it.

I am not there – yet. I still find myself being too much concerned about how I sound when I pray instead of what I pray. But I am trying to get over my prideful self so God can use my prayers for my good and His glory. As Jesus says at the end of this passage, “. . .and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (v. 7)

Written by Lynn Randall: Lynn Randall is the Director of Human Resources at America’s Keswick. She is active in her church and is a gifted planner and organizer. She has a real heart for people as evidenced by her care, concern and practical encouragement.


Think About This: “Be who God called you to be. Live for an audience of ONE.” ― Craig Groeschel

The Daily Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 23-27| You can download our 2020 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. –Psalm 9:10

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.

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