Proper Prayer

Matthew 6:5-15         
“When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you. “When you pray, don’t pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they’ll be heard. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask. Pray like this: Our Father who is in heaven, uphold the holiness of your name. 10 Bring in your kingdom so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven. 11 Give us the bread we need for today. 12 Forgive us for the ways we have wronged you, just as we also forgive those who have wronged us. 13 And don’t lead us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. 14 “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.  
[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]

Don’t let your praying be superficial or hypocritical. Don’t pray in order that you will be seen praying. When you pray, find a quiet and somewhat secluded place, go deep inside and pray something like this: God, your insistent call is remarkable, able to give life. May I respond to that insistent call in a way that honors and advances the Commonwealth of Peace and Justice, making it a living reality that is as vibrant and lively as the hopes of our people have been. May those hopes feed us day by day. We are constantly facing trials; may we be strong enough to integrate both the light and darkness — the good and the evil — of those trials, finding the Way that is commensurate with the Commonwealth, the Way of compassion and forgiveness.

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