The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




When You Pray, When You Pray, When You Pray

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites.....But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen....And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words" (Matt. 6: 5-7).

Many years ago while coaching a basketball game, I called a timeout and huddled the players together. One of them was shooting free throws in a critical part of the game and I made this statement to them; "When Bobby makes these foul shots, here's what we will do........." It was a statement designed to instill confidence, purpose and expectation to the situation. Three times in three verses, when talking about prayer, Jesus says the words, "when you pray." It is obvious that Jesus was a man of prayer. On many occasions we have written testimony that He prayed both in public and in private. He also taught numerous lessons about prayer. Just a verse after today's, He presented what we commonly call "the Lord's prayer." He presented it not as one of His prayers, (note; "This then is how you should pray") but as a model.

The model was an extension of His teachings on prayer. I have focused in on verses five through eight in a particular way. In these verses, He is teaching about how not to pray. I am sure that you have read these verses. The hypocrites of verse five pray with the intent of being seen by men. In contrast to that He teaches that going into a quiet and private place is a better way in verse six. In verse seven He suggests that it's not the amount of words that is important, and continues with the model for prayer. Jesus used as an introduction to each thought the phrase, when you pray. We ought to note that it is more of an expectation than a command. Have you ever used that term when you had a certain expectation from someone. Surely we all have. It is an effective way to let someone know what we expect of them. In using the term when you pray, Jesus is in essence saying to us..."Surely, you want to pray." Some more on prayer this week..I will leave you with this thought....When you pray today.........

Have a great start to your week...Why not start it with a RAK or two... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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