The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

01/24/2013

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How And What NOT To Pray


"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen" (Matt.6:6).

Did public prayer just take a hit? Like most things that we read, context is so very important. To see why Jesus said what He did in verse six, we have to go back to verse one. "Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men to be seen of men." Specifically regarding prayer, we must go back to verse five..."And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men" Jesus often prayed in public. See: Matt.11:25, Lk.9:16, Jn.11:41, LK.24:16. You might want to peruse through these public prayer verses to get a flavor of how Jesus prayed. Many years ago, a family from the south moved into our area and started worshipping with us. It was obvious that they wanted to get involved, and one Sunday morning we asked the father/husband to lead a prayer during the worship service. When he was finished, Jane and I looked at one another in awe. The words were wonderfully crafted and said... Very impressive... The next time he prayed, and in subsequent prayers, the words were not just similar but identical. He had one prayer and one delivery mode. After a few prayers, the words that once seemed so impressive now seemed rote. Now please don't get me wrong... When we pray in public, we ought to make our best effort to craft our words so that they are plausible. What we really need to understand is that God is our audience and He is interested in what comes from our hearts. Matt.6: 1, 5, and 6 are all followed by statements of reward. It would be good for us to read and meditate upon them... I bit about more proper prayer tomorrow....

Have a great day... Let His light shine through you... Love mark Phil.4:11

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