Friday, April 17, 2009

Prayer - Part 2

I hope that you enjoyed reading Prayer - Part 1. Here is Part 2.

Tonight's Scripture reading is Matthew 6:5-8 (NLT).

5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!


5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.

One of the definitions of "hypocrite," per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is " a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion." The hypocrites in this verse are praying in public to make people think they are righteous and holy. The adulation of the people watching the hypocrites pray is the only reward they will receive. Jesus is warning us here not to pray to show off before others.

6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Prayer should be a private matter between you and God. When you pray in secret, your reward is the Father' undivided attention. If you make your needs known privately to the Father, He will give you the glory in public. See the difference in reward between this and the reward of the hypocrites in verse 5?

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.

The Lord wants us to be direct and to the point when we are petitioning Him with our needs. You do not need to say the same words over and over again.

8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

The Lord knows everything you need. He knows your thoughts, feelings and needs before they are even expressed in words. However, the Father wants to hear from you your wants and needs.

For Prayer - Part 3, I will post my comments on the Lord's Prayer. I hope you're enjoying reading my posts. Please feel free to comment. See you next time!

Diane