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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Merry-Go-Round Prayers

Matthew 6:5-15

Verse 7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.


    Next Jesus brings up the style of prayer we are supposed to offer to God.  Jesus had already warned about the way the hypocrites prayed but now He was talking about others they would have been familiar with whose religion had them repeating or chanting the same prayers over and over.


    The danger in this type of prayer in the Christian’s life is how it becomes something we say without giving it the thought and understanding we should.  Even in church life we have things like the Lord’s Prayer, the creeds and catechism which we can quote but may not give as much thought to when saying as we should.  That is not to equate these things with prayer but the principle is the same, repetition isn’t always something which benefits our relationship with the Lord if heartfelt thoughts aren’t behind the words.


    If we were to tell our loved ones we loved them over and over but didn’t show them or speak the words in a loving manner, they would eventually stop believing us or ignore us.  While God may not start ignoring us because we repeat ourselves, He won’t listen when our words are not heartfelt.  This is the reason Jesus took the time to add this to His sermon about prayer.  When we pray we need to be intentional about the words coming out of our mouths because they reflect what we think about the God we are praying to.


    If we repeat the same words over and over we may stop thinking about the intention behind the pray.  For example, we can pray over and over for something and over time we lose the passion behind our reason for praying for it, it just becomes part of something we always pray.


    As Jesus called us to do, we need to give more thought and attention to the things we bring before the Lord.  This isn’t to say we shouldn’t bring things to Him over and over, there are things which require constant pleading.  For example, when we are praying for the salvation of a loved one or a friend fighting cancer, out of our love for them we should pray consistently for them, but never without thinking about what we are asking of the Lord.  He wants us as engaged in the communication as He is.


Making It Personal

    Have you ever prayed without thinking about it?  What kinds of things are easy to pray about without giving much thought?  What in your prayer life requires more thought?


Making It Personal Kids

    Do you have prayers which you repeat often?  Do you think about the words before you say them?  Have you ever prayed words which came straight from your heart?


Closing Prayer

    Father, we repent of the times we have simply said rote prayers, not giving any thought to what we were saying.  Please give us hearts which desire honest and pure communication with You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.


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