“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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:5-8 NIV)
Prayer. The teachers of the law didn’t have a clue, the disciples didn’t have a clue, and we don’t have a clue. But the disciples watched Jesus, and in Luke’s account of Jesus giving them The Lord’s Prayer we are told that after Jesus had been out praying the disciples specifically asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. So what had they been doing prior to this, and what prompted the realisation that whatever they called prayer at that stage in their journey wasn’t good enough?
Prayer. God has been challenging me about prayer all year. About the time I spend in prayer, about how I pray and the balance of me babbling, the Holy Spirit praying through me, and time silently spent in a quiet place listening to what God is saying to me.
Prayer. There came a point in the prayer life of the disciples when they knew that their baby prayers were no longer acceptable. Jesus provided a clear example of how to pray and backed it up with the words we read in Matthew 6. Given that these words were recorded in Scripture we can safely assume that they are as important for us to read and understand as they were for the disciples to hear. If our personal and corporate prayer times are filled with baby prayers where we babble away filling the space to overflowing with our words, then we are denying God the opportunity to speak.
Po callaf y dyn, anamlaf ei eiriau. The wiser the man, the fewer his words. (Welsh proverb.)