5 “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. 6 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.
7 “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. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask. 9 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.
Listening to God: When you refuse to forgive someone, you bind that person and the hurt they caused you to your soul. This blocks your spiritual growth and gives the Adversary lots to work with in your life. I cannot bless you as much as I would like if you are holding on to things you should have forgiven. Unforgiveness is poison to your spirit. If you can’t bring yourself to forgive, pray to me your desire to want to forgive. I want to set you free. When you let me do that, many will be blessed through you.
Journal or lift up your prayers and reflections to God.
*Our season of prayer guide comes from Joan Gray’s book, Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice.