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Prayer is not to be a memorized set of words routinely repeated to God

Communication Connection
When We Pray – Part 2

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-15

Key Verse: Matthew 6:5

“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.

Matthew 6:7 reminds us that prayer is not about merely repeating words over and over. Prayer is not to be a memorized set of words routinely repeated to God, like a child’s night time prayers. Prayers are to be spontaneous and real, telling God what is on our minds and the struggles in our lives. This doesn’t mean it’s wrong to tell God these things each day that we pray. It means we must not pray in a robotic way.

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus teaches a lesson on prayer in chapter 18. The first verse gives the point of the lesson: “One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” In one sense, I could stop there and not even read the parable Jesus gave. The point is clear: pray & don’t give up. However, the story Jesus tells drives the point home. Jesus describes  horrible judge in a certain city that didn’t fear God or care for people. A widow in that city came to him asking for justice in a dispute with an enemy. The judge, according to Jesus’ parable, ignored her for a while, but she just wouldn’t give up. Finally, the judge came to this conclusion: “…this woman is driving me crazy; I’m going to give her the justice she wants because she is wearing me out.”

Jesus draws the conclusion for us. God is not like this judge; He does care about us and will hear us. We are not to give up presenting our requests to Him, thanking Him for hearing us. We leave our prayer time trusting that God is at work in our behalf. When I’m in a waiting period, I try to simply praise God for working on my needs, rather than asking for God’s help over & over. God heard me the first time I requested His help, from that point on, I only need to praise Him for the answer He will give.

Father, I know you never ignore a sincere prayer. I wait in faith for the answer. In Jesus’ name, amen.