Friday, January 8, 2016

Prayer - Day 8

KJV - But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

NLT -   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.

Vain Repetitions

We live in a wordy world. It seems as though everyone has something to say, regardless of whether it benefits being said. The world esteems these words, while God does not. Jesus specifically told us how to pray to our Father. These are His words, and this verse in Matthew is right before that Model Prayer. 

I find it interesting that His thoughts on prayer are tucked right into the middle of His talk, often referred to as the 'Sermon on the Mount.' I wonder if I had been present, would I have been rapt with attention, or letting my mind wander a bit, as I confess sometimes happens during a Sunday sermon. Would my ears have perked up when Jesus said, "Pray like this..." ?

I will never know; however, I am truly thankful His words were recorded for me to reflect upon and learn from and emulate. Now I'm getting a little wordy! Here's what I found about verse 7 from Matthew chapter six:

From the Reformation Study Bible via BibleGateway's "Study This" button:

This prohibition does not contradict the principle that one should keep asking God for what is believed to be His will (Luke 18), but corrects the idea that God is impressed with quantity of words.

And from Matthew Henry's commentary:

What the fault is that is here reproved and condemned; it is making a mere lip-labour of the duty of prayer, the service of the tongue, when it is not the service of the soul.

Father God,

Thank you for sending Your Son to teach us exactly how to speak with You. 
Clear my thoughts, so the words of my heart may be heard on my lips
without the noise of the world interfering.
In Jesus' name, I pray ~ AMEN

What does this verse speak to you?