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What Christ said about prayer and sincerity are still true today. I thought the next logical step would be to study what Christ himself said about prayer.
(We are continuing with our Prayer 101 series. Do start at the beginning, click on the menu. )
The first requirement is sincerity or genuiness.
Think about it for a minute.
We are pretty good at ciphering out when someone isn’t sincere. I mean, you can tell, don’t you think? We are uncomfortable around those people because we never know who we are dealing with. Well, even though God does know who he is dealing with, he still wants us to come him with sincerity.
And, one of the ways we show that is through the prayer language we use.
Therefore, our prayer language should reflect how we talk every day. Our prayer words should be honest and without guile. We should not only sound humble, we need to be humble.
Of course, the most famous Scripture addressing this is Matthew 6: 5-15
Prequel to the Lord’s Prayer
What did Christ say about prayer and those insincere Pharisees? The following words Jesus spoke are just before he gives the example of the Lord’s Prayer to the disciples. First, he tells them how NOT to pray.
“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 6:5-15
Now I have to honest, sometimes I do “babble”. If I find myself doing that, I know I am not concentrating on my prayer. I even sound insincere to myself. When that happens, I stop and settle my soul. I get rid of distracting thoughts and begin again.
Sincerity is genuineness. Genuineness is without guile. There is no pretense. This is how we approach our time with God.Tweet
What does Christ say about those insincere Pharisees? He states, “Don’t do it. Don’t be like them.” Could it be any clearer?
Insecurity in our relationship with God is the source of our insincerity.
If we are having a hard time being genuine with God, I would suggest it’s because we feel insecure. We don’t really believe God is who he says he is, all-loving, all-forgiving, all-everything.
There is only one way to address that insecurity.
The way to address it is to lay it at the feet of Jesus. Ask him to help you get past it. And no matter how insecure you feel, keep praying and keep trying to sound like who you really are. I know what that’s like.
I’m often uncomfortable around people I don’t know well. I feel somewhat intimidated. I have a little bit of social anxiety. And sometimes, that translates into my prayer time with God. When that happens, I simple address it.
Our sincerity is usually reflected by our earnestness in prayer.
When you find yourself wandering all over with your words, you can be sure you are not in earnest. You just have to stop and talk to yourself. Don’t just keep going on. God would have you stop with just a couple of sentences from the heart then trying to make it all up as you go along. There’s nothing wrong with just stopping.
Be who you are when you approach God. Don’t try to sound like anyone else. God might think you’re a stranger!
God bless and have a wonderful day.