Biblical Characteristics of Prayer
Prayer is simply talking with God. Yet with regard to consistency or how to approach Him, we sometimes struggle—especially when we’ve observed other Christians pray and assume theirs must be the “right” way. That’s probably how people felt watching the Pharisees, who’d corrupted this priceless privilege by turning it into a hypocritical, ritualistic performance of self-righteousness. In contrast, Jesus taught that God-pleasing prayers have the following characteristics:
Sincerity. Coming before a holy God should fill us with humility rather than a self-focused desire to be perceived favorably by others.
Secret. Although there is always a place for humble public prayer, we also need to have personal time alone with our heavenly Father.
Simple. The pagans often used meaningless repetition of words or phrases to get their gods’ attention and persuade them to grant requests. But since we know that the Lord always hears us, we can plainly present our concerns and petitions.
Serenity. Our heavenly Father loves us and knows what we need, so we don’t have to worry that He’ll ignore our prayers.
To follow Jesus’ guidelines, we must see ourselves as weak, dependent children coming to our loving Father for help.