Matthew 6:5-7 – “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” NKJV
The Pharisees loved to appear religious and reveled in being noticed when they prayed. I’ve seen it in church when someone would pray and eternal prayer and cover everything they could in doing so. I’ve endured that when someone would pray over the food before we ate and once I learned who those were if I were in a position to choose who prayed it would not be them. Some seem to believe that by their multiplicity of words that God is somehow impressed or maybe they just like to hear themselves talk or believe that others are impressed. Honestly, I know God is not impressed, I certainly am not, and do not believe that very many other people are either. Hopefully, I am not sounding ant-prayer, but expressing that the prayer God desires is not based on the volume or length of the prayer but the heart.
Jesus directed us that when we go to prayer to go into our “prayer closet” wherever that might be we are to shut out the world and every distraction. It is there that we have a private and open conversation with God. He advised against using vain repetitions which would suggest that He is saying, “Get down to it, say it what is in your heart, then listen for Me to speak.” God doesn’t have to be convinced to do what He has declared He wants to do. He only has to find open and willing vessels through which to do it.
Real prayer is not how long the prayer is or how many times you say “Oh God,” or whatever it is you say. REAL PRAYER is when the heart is totally open to the Spirit of God and you express to God what is on and in your heart and listen for His response. He is a “speaking God”. We find that in Genesis and find that He is still speaking in Revelation. What would make us think that He does not want to speak to us today? I’m not telling you that you will always hear an audible voice, it might only be an impression or a particular scripture coming to mind and into view but He is speaking nevertheless. He will speak and guide us if we will allow Him to do so. REAL PRAYER is a conversation, not a monologue where we place before God our laundry or a shopping list of wants, wishes, and desires. It is where we present our hearts to Him and allow Him to present His to us. We just might find that what we are seeking is not what He desires to give or have us do and we need to modify our focus.
Therefore, instead of just petitioning God with a continual requests allow Him opportunity and give Him some time to enter the conversation. You just might find that it is transformational in your life.
May God be with you as you go through your day!