NOVEMBER 11-15 | 2019

WEEKLY DEVOTION

The Practice of Prayer

Matthew 6:5-8

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

Praying with a sincere heart.

The religious leaders in the text prayed to give the appearance of a close relationship with God, while the truth was that they really were not. What God thought of them didn't matter to them as much as what people thought of them. Jesus uses this example not only to highlight  hypocrisy, but to warn us against an improper practice of prayer. Because most of us learn our practice of prayer from others, it's not unusual to find very godly people that 

pray with sincerity and with proper motives that can  easily fall into this trap. Here's the good news - we do not have to be long winded or eloquent to gain God's attention. The proper purpose of prayer is seeking God and communication with Him, not about gaining the recognition of men. In proper practice of prayer,  we bring our needs to Him with simple faith that He knows, He hears, and He will provide. Eloquent words do not impress God. God longs to hear the prayers of those who long to be righteous from the heart. 

Prayer

Jesus,
What a privelage it is to draw near to you, to talk with you, and  to be in relationship with you. Help us to be honest and transparent with you, as we know you work for our good, and love us ever so much. Give us the confidence to draw near to the throne. You are so worthy of our praise, our admiration, and our honesty. We love you, we praise you, and we thank you. Amen.

Reflection

  • Why is it often hard for us to be honest in prayer?

  • Why do we sometimes struggle to come before God with our needs?

  • Discuss this quote. 'Prayer, therefore, is much more than asking God for this or that outcome...In prayer, we are invited to join Him in directing the course of this world.' - Skye Jethani

Songs for the Week

'Who You Say I Am' Hillsong Worship

'Give Me Faith' Elevation Worship

'Great Are You Lord' All Sons & Daughters