Matthew 6:5-8 – “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” NASU
There is far more here than I could address in multiple devotionals, so I am selectively drawing on the thought that Prayer is not designed to be your personal public relations vehicle or tool. This and other passages in the Holy Scripture regarding prayer, is why I do not like to broadcast what I am praying. I am more than willing to ask for specific prayer and even willing to acknowledge specific prayers that I am offering but by and large when I pray I go into the prayer closet, shut the door, and engage in a private conversation and entreaty with God about particular needs. I don’t like long prayers in public and personally prefer spontaneous prayers to those that are written and read for the purpose of being noticed. However, there are times when forethought and preplanned use of words is incredibly beneficial. I don’t mind men not noticing my prayer so long as God does. After all, I am not praying to men I am praying to God and He doesn’t need to be impressed with my eloquence or words. He is looking beyond all that directly at my heart.
Jesus cautioned us about using meaningless repetitions and being incredibly wordy in our public prayers or even our private prayers. If you and I sat down and I wanted to ask something of you I would not ramble on being repetitious and verbose I would come to the point and in as simple language as possible tell you what I desired. I believe you would do the same with me. Yet, when we go before the God of all creation many change the inflection of their voice and attempt to impress God with their eloquence or words. He’s not impressed! He created language and knows it far better than any of us, even the most eloquent and educated of us.
When we go before God we would do well to remember that He already knows what we need and our petition is not one trying to convince Him of the merits of our petition but aligning our hearts and thoughts with His word and will. It is allowing God the opportunity to be God in our situation. Jesus said the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward us openly.
Therefore I suggest that we not attempt to use prayer as a P.R. tool but as a means of communication with God in an honest and heartfelt manner. Come before Him with humbleness of heart, and true thanksgiving and watch Him be God in your behalf.
May God be with you as you go through your day!