How Not to Pray

Just Pray

By Pastor Roger Eng, February 19, 2023

Matthew 6:5 (NASB), “And when you pray, 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 will be seen by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”

  1. Hypocrites pray (or tell us not to pray) because they love the they get from people.

Matthew 6:6 (NASB), “But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

  1. The secret to prayer is secret prayer in presence.

Matthew 6:7 (NASB), “And when you are praying, do not use thoughtless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.”

  1. Pagan prayers and rituals seek to manipulate “forces” into doing their will.

Matthew 6:8-9 (NASB), “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. 9 Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven…’”

  1. True prayer is based on a true with God the Father.

Luke 11:10 (NASB), “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now which one of you fathers will his son ask for a fish, and instead of a fish, he will give him a snake? 12 Or he will even ask for an egg, and his father will give him a scorpion? 13 So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

  1. God the Father always His children’s prayers:
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Wait
  4. Here’s something better!


R.A. Torrey, “We should never utter one syllable of prayer, either in public or in private, until we are definitely conscious that we have come into the presence of God and are actually praying to Him.”

Paul Miller in A Praying Life, “Don’t try to get the prayer right; just tell God where you are and what’s on your mind. That’s what little children do. They come as they are, runny noses and all. Like the disciples, they just say what is on their minds…. In order to pray like a child, you might need to unlearn the non-personal, nonreal praying that you’ve been taught…. The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask. The real you has to meet the real God.”