Matthew 6:6-8 “Pray to your father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So, do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
The first thing you should see from Jesus’ instruction is that He wants us all to Himself. He says, “you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men . . . . When you pray go into your inner room, close your door and pray” (Matt. 6:5-6) We should have times with the Father when there is no one else around, when we do not have to hurry, with no distractions or interruptions, and deliberate spending time with Him. He wants us to choose Him over and above the cares and the activities of our days and acknowledge Him as Lord of our lives. Jesus knows how important it is for us to daily have our concerns heard, our sins forgiven, our fears calmed, our hearts encouraged and our souls renewed. He wants us to have the privilege of expressing our feelings, our desires, our burdens, our sorrows, and our cares to Him. He also wants us to focus on Him, adoring and worshipping Him and allowing Him to love us in return. How much time in any 24 hour period does God have your undivided attention? How often does the Lord have you all to Himself? If you give Him a few minutes, you make your requests and then you hurry on your way, you are not really praying! That is not real communion or fellowship.
We hear a lot these days about how important it is to make time to interact and demonstrate to one another how much we care about one another. Why do we not treat the Lord the same way? Why don’t we rush to see Him, disregarding everything else that is going on, and tell Him how grateful we are for His wonderful care and provision? Until we choose to spend time alone with God and allow Him to energize us with His presence, we will never understand the power of having a conversation with Him. When we do, we will long for constant communion with the Father because we will understand what a huge privilege it is. The second thing we need is the mind-set we should have when speaking with the Lord. In Matt. 6:6-8 Jesus said “Pray to your father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
Matt. 6:9 is an incredible statement “Pray, then, in this way: Our father who is in heaven.” Jesus, God incarnate, desires for us to call God, Father! The Lord of all creation wants us to be His children and have a very special relationship with Him. Jesus is expressing God’s intention. He wants this level of intimacy with us. He wants to be our heavenly father who loves, who teaches, and who provides for us faithfully. Jesus knows how important it is for us to be able to rely on the Father like a child relies and trusts a strong, wise, and godly father.
What can we expect from the Lord as our heavenly Father? According to Rom. 8:31-33 God wants to have an ongoing, intimate relationship, and He has gone to great lengths to provide it. Our earthly fathers might reject us and cause us great pain, but God will not. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that He always has time for us; Romans 15:7 makes it clear that He unfailingly accepts us. We might feel inadequate and not ready to have a loving relationship with the Father because of the past, but remember, the One that saves you can and will teach you how to relate to Him. He will instruct you how to walk with Him step by step (Psalm 25:4-5).
The Father wants to communicate with us. He wants to reveal Himself, He wants to teach us how to love and how to obey Him, He wants to show us the path to life at its very best (Jeremiah 29:11-13). When He disciplines us we know it is for our good to protect us from evil and mature our faith (Heb. 12:7-11). When we need comfort, when we need assurance, when we need hope He restores our soul (Psalm 23). When we need guidance, He helps us to do the right thing 9Proverbs 3:5-6). The best part is that we can always trust what He tell us because He has never failed to keep His word (Joshua 21:45). No-one understands and knows us better than our heavenly Father who knows every detail of our lives (Psalm 139).
Jesus assures us “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:8). According to Phil. 4:19 God already knows all the areas of our lives that require His touch. According to Matthew 6:25-26 He assumes full responsibility for our needs as we obey Him. He will show you the truth about His character and care as your heavenly father; He will also heal your wounds. You need to be willing to deal with the areas He reveals to you and trust Him to mend any brokenness that you might feel. This requires vulnerability and courage, but remember, the Father will never be late working in your life. Do not let fear get in the way of what He wants to accomplish in your life.