DEVOTION: Go To The Right Place and Get to the Point!
Christ in his sermon continues to teach on the right practices of righteousness. The next topic in the practices of righteousness is about how to pray. Christ gives the example of how not to pray by stating how the hypocrites pray.
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Matthew 6:5a
Notice the motive for this kind of prayers, then read what Christ says about it.
Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5a
But there is a proper practice of prayer. Christ explains this in the following statement.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Matthew 6:6a
This manner of praying has this guarantee for us:
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6b
But this is not the only practice that would hinder our prayers. Christ states a pagan practice that we should avoid.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them… Matthew 6:7-8a
Why should we not follow this pagan practice? Christ explains:
For your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 8:b
Imagine that! Our father knows what we need before we present our request to Him in prayer.
- How does your practice of prayer compare with what Christ describes in this passage as the proper manner of praying? Are you on par with it or have you fallen short in your practice? Whichever way you fall, the good news is this; now you know the proper way.
- If this is what Christ teaches about prayer, why then do we spent a lot of energy explaining our needs to God? Does it mean that we can twist God’s hand by our many words?
- What is your understanding of “Babbling Like Pagans”? You will be surprised how this practice got into the early church. John MacArthur has done an incredible research on this topic in his study of I Corinthians.Here are two links to his study and presentation:
- Whichever way you understand this, it is very clear from Christ’s statement that many words and babbling in prayer do not enhance our prayers. Neither does it make God to answer them.
- Has today’s lesson caused you to change the way you normally pray? Or has it create more questions than answers? Let me know.
In our desire or desperation to have our prayers answered
We spend more time with many words explaining
These pressing needs to our heavenly father
And yet, as Jesus Christ explains to us
Our Heavenly Father knows these
Before we take them to Him
In our time of need
And yet all
GO TO THE RIGHT PLACE AND GET TO THE POINT!
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto