Summary: When you pray-We have to make a mindful decision to pray, and how we pray!
Matthew 6:5-8-And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
When you pray-We have to make a mindful decision to pray, and how we pray!
Jesus is not against praying in public (I believe it is an encouragement for people to hear you praying for them, or for a situation, or our nation, our leaders), or against praying long prayers (I sometimes wonder if our prayers are to short).
The problem is we don’t spend enough time in prayer, our how many hours slip past us that we haven’t prayed?
The Jewish people had three times a day they were suppose to pray…9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm, so they might pray at the synagogue at that time, or stop on the street and pray at those times.
One writer said…“Prayer was not normally practiced at the street corners, but .. . one who strictly observed the afternoon hour of prayer could deliberately time his movements to bring him to the most public place at the appropriate time.”
There are people in Jesus’ day and in our day, who pray not to be heard by God, but to be heard and seen by men.
The reason we need a secluded or private place, so that we won’t be tempted, to try to impress anyone.
The right kind of prayer does not use vain (Empty of Substance) repetitions, now that does not mean that we don’t ask God to heal the sick, give us traveling mercy, comfort the passing of a love one, save the lost, give direction to our leaders, protect our military, because we should continue to ask God to intervene in all those situations, those prayers have meaning, they have sustains.
I think when we get in trouble is when we pray with our lips and not with our heart!!
Somebody can pray long and it not mean anything!
1 Kings 18:26-29-So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made. And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.
And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.
God isn’t impressed by the length or flowery words we use in our prayers, but He is moved when our heart is poured out in prayer!!
Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue.
Ecclesiastes 5:2-Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.
Matthew 6:5-13- “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. (The Message)