And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when 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. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. -Matthew 6:5-8
Check out last Sunday’s sermon here.
If you feel you are stuck in thought, frustration, doubt, or self-loathing about your prayer life, friend, there is one solution (hint, it’s to pray). However, true prayer may not meet your current definition of prayer. True prayer is not a thing you do to get public praise (if it is only that it is a shell of hypocrisy). True prayer is also not a perfect mixture of words that will unlock the door to God’s presence (like pagan chants that ‘appease’ the gods through their “many words.”). What is the prayer actually?
The point of prayer is humble, dependent, communion with God. -Pastor Mike
Prayerless: “I don’t pray as much as I should.” Solution: “God, help me to prayerfully depend on You!” Prayerless: “I don’t know if anyone will hear my prayer.” Solution: “God, remind me that you are not far off but near and that you are a personal God who I can speak to like a child with her father.” Prayerless: “I don’t even know what to pray right now.” Solution: “God, teach me to pray and call to mind my present needs. Let your Spirit fill up all that I lack and advocate for me through the words I cannot speak.”