Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 6:5-8 (NKJV)
"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
What truth is revealed? When I first started dating my wife, the last thing I wanted on our dates was an audience. I was interested in her and her alone. I didn’t date Jody to try and impress other people—I dated Jody so that I could build a relationship with her. If I apply the same logic to my prayer life, I pray so that I can build a deepening relationship with my Creator.
What is the command, wisdom or promise? I grew up in a church tradition where it was common for people to call attention to their religious fervor. People would “put on” a “stained glass” voice when they prayed. It was obvious that they prayed to impress others. Jesus calls us to an authentic relationship with God, and it starts by being alone in His presence. It continues with a real dialog and not vain repetitions or religious superstitions.
What does this mean to/for me? My prayer life must be more than a religious form. It must be at the core of establishing an ongoing, ever-deepening, exclusive conversation with God. I am a pastor, so I’m expected to pray publicly on occasion; However, those public prayers must only be the tip of the iceberg—the “real” prayers go unseen, but they are the larger part of the sum.
What action can/should I take? I need to tend to my own personal “prayer closet.” The place where I am sequestered with God; the place where I dance, and sing, and worship, and pray, and talk, and listen, and enjoy the presence of God.
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.