March 18, 2020

And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:5-6

From Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The fact that we can pray is not something to be taken for granted. It is true that prayer is a natural need of the human heart, but that does not give us any right before God.... We pray to God in whom we believe through Christ. Therefore our prayer can never be a conjuring up of God; we do not need to present ourselves before him. We can know that God knows what we need before we ask for it. That gives our prayer the greatest confidence and a happy certainty. It is neither the formula nor the number of words but faith that reaches God in his fatherly heart, which has long known us. The proper prayer is not a deed, not an exercise, not a pious attitude, but the petition of a child to the heart of the Father.

We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.

Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer