How Not To Pray

cathedral doors

40 Days of Prayer: Day 1

Read: Matthew 6:5-8

Thank you for taking the 40 Days of Prayer Challenge with Hydrate Church. I know that you will be blessed by the time you spend praying by yourself and with your family. As we get started let’s set some ground rules. While there isn’t really a right or wrong way to pray, Jesus did tell us some things not to do.  Here’s a couple of examples inspired by the above Bible passage:

  • Loud Larry*: Larry is the type of guy who is always on his cellphone in public. You know him. He sat next to your table at lunch the other day and laughed and talked so loudly to his invisible friend—who may or may not have been on the other end of the phone—that you could barely hear your friend at the same table with you. 
  • Rambling Wanda*: Wanda is a fast talker who often repeats herself. She is the type of person that you just can’t seem to end a conversation with because she wraps it back around to the beginning before you can say goodbye. Her goal seems to be the same as a Nascar driver: take the lead early and lap the competition.

Unfortunately, when some people pray they pray like Loud Larry or Rambling Wanda. For some, powerful prayer only comes with powerfully spoken words. Jesus actually warned us about praying this way. If we pray just to be heard by others then we are not really praying at all. The attention we receive by the people hearing us is the only reward we will get for that type of prayer. In the same instance, if we repeat our words over and over so we feel like we have prayed longer, we are not really praying effectively.

Instead, Jesus taught us to pray in secret. In a place where we can be focused on what God is saying to us and not distracted. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pray when others are around. It simply means that our prayers should be genuine and honest for the sake of communing with God and not any selfish reasons. Secondly, we should pray in faith. Jesus referenced the pagans because they felt they had to perform for their gods to be accepted. Your Father loves you and accepts you already. “[He] knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matt. 6:8). So pray honestly today, and pray believing that God hears you. 

We are praying for you!

*Of course, if your name is Larry or Wanda all likenesses are simply coincidental and you are not the real subject of this post or are you?

Thank you for reading. Now, please go to our Prayer Wall and pray for the requests. You can also add your own prayer request or testimony there. 

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