And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. - Matthew 6:7-8 NIV
How do we pray? How do we begin these critical conversations with God? Are we afraid to say the wrong thing? We are, after all, talking to the architect of everything.
Jesus left us with the example of how to pray. But more than the words spoken, it is the state of our hearts that is important. We should begin these conversations with reverence, earnestness, and faith. This is our opportunity to give thanks and be honest, offering our innermost fears, doubts, and troubles -- baring our souls to God.
Yes, God knows what we need before we ask, but he wants to speak with us. He desires to hear our voices -- the contents of our hearts spoken in our way. God listens with compassion and empathy, willing to answer our prayers. In this two-way open dialog, we also need to listen to his voice and be ready to respond.
God, thank you for all you do for us. We acknowledge you as our Creator, Savior, and Sustainer. We have sinned and ask your forgiveness. We have so many things weighing heavy on our hearts today; you know what they are, we now hand them to you with confidence you will answer. Please speak to us today, and use us as your instruments. Father, please help us to be more like you. Help us show love to all. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.