But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. — Matthew 6:7
Growing up, I remember hearing many people pray throughout my life. In church, I would hear prayers said aloud. I remember Christians bowing at the altar of the church, praying for God to intervene in their circumstance. There were prayer groups that I remember being part of as well.
As I reflect back on those many prayers I heard, I remember a wide variety of prayers that I overheard. Some of them were long, some of them short. Some of the prayers were loud, some there were no words, there were simply tears it seemed as they poured their heart out to God. There were so many different types of prayers that were said.
There’s one thing that I learned about prayer through all of this. A prayer is individual. In other words, what you say for your prayer may not work for what I need in my prayer. Your circumstances are not mine just as mine are not yours. We all face different things each day and need God to intervene.
While Jesus gives an example of prayer in this passage, He gives some guidance that we all can take to heart. In teaching, Jesus shares that they should not use vain repetitions. In other words, don’t just say long drawn out repetitive things thinking that will do the trick. Instead, He encourages them to be sincere and personal in what they say.
Some people want to make prayer difficult. They believe there are keywords you have to say or key repetitions you should make. Instead, God wants to hear your heart. Tell Him exactly what you feel. Share with Him what you are experiencing.
Don’t make prayer more difficult than it should be. Whether or not the words come out perfect isn’t being judged by God. Instead, He’s looking for your honesty and sincerity.
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