Summary: Christ says that a man who prays to be seen by men loves to pray, but he is a hypocrite

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A. This come from Pastor Tim again, Part of my job as a public-health nurse is teaching new parents how to care for their infants. As I was demonstrating how to wrap a newborn, a young Asian couple turned to me and said, "You mean we should wrap the baby like an egg roll?" "Yes," I replied, "That is a good analogy." "I don't know how to make egg rolls," another mother said anxiously. "Can I wrap my baby like a burrito?"

B. This passage is speaking to those who Pray, people who take prayer seriously.

1. Prayer is one of the greatest acts of the Christian believer.

2. Talking to God, whether by thought or tongue, is the way a believer fellowships with God; and the one thing God desires is fellowship with His people

3. Thus, it is essential that we pray and pray often, sharing all day long.

C. However, that we do pray is not the concern of Christ in this point.

1. His concern is how we pray.

2. It is possible to pray amiss, with the wrong motive and in the wrong way.

3. It is possible to pray and never be heard by God.

a. Well, let me say that in a different way, a omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God cannot fail to know what is going on on this planet

b. But, when we pray with wrong motives, God chooses to ignore that prayer

4. It is possible to pray and to be speaking only to ourselves, to have our prayer go no higher than our own ears.

a. Therefore, Christ sets out to teach us the right and wrong motives for praying.

(1) The wrong motive: praying to be seen by men (v.5).

(2) The right motive: praying to be heard by God (v.6).

(a) Lets begin by turning to Matthew 6:5

II. Body

A. Prayer can become hypocritical

Matthew 6:5 (NKJV)

"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

1. A person can pray for the wrong reasons, with the wrong motives.

a. Prayer can become habit-forming

b. Prayer is a wonderful experience, very rewarding emotionally and mentally and in having our needs met as God answers our prayer

c. We can begin to love praying and still be praying amiss.

2. Prayer can become connected with certain places

a. A friend of ours called the pastor one night and asked him to unlock the church so that she could pray

b. A believer has places that mean much to him in his prayer life, but he must guard against limiting God's presence only to those places, even if it is the church.

3. Prayer can become empty repetition

a. We will look at this aspect another time

b. But, a person can take any phrase or form of prayer and make it a meaningful experience, or make it a formal and meaningless occasion

c. Just think how often the Lord's Prayer is repeated by rote memory with the mind focused elsewhere

4. Prayer can become too long

a. We will look at this aspect another time

b. A believer can begin to feel he is heard because of "much speaking"

(1) Remember the contest between Elijah and the priests of Baal

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