Daily Archives: June 11, 2024



As much as there are do’s and don’ts on every level of life that help or hinder us, so too with prayer. Jesus made it clear to His disciples that do’s and don’ts are of great importance when we approach the Father. If we ignore the don’ts, we ignore the wrong attitudes that hinder our prayers. If we do the do’s, we enhance our prayer lives by praying God’s way.

The first ‘don’t’ is one we easily miss because we are dominated by our self-consciousness.

‭Matthew 6:5 NLT‬
[5] “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get….”

This ‘don’t’ is especially applicable when we pray in a group. We like the affirmation of those who admire our use of words. So, we plan our words while others are praying! Conversely, we listen to others pray and bemoan the fact that we can’t pray as ‘beautifully’ as someone else! All the while, we forget that prayer is about conversing with God, not speaking to people.

Our self-consciousness (and pride) are always there to intrude in what should be an intimate time with the Father. If recognition is our subconscious motive when we pray, our prayers may bounce off the ceiling. They don’t impress God.

The second ‘don’t’ is equally a trap into which we easily fall, closely tied to our desire to impress. Words!

‭Matthew 6:7 NLT‬
[7] “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again…“

Oh, how we babble! To babble means to mutter, repeating the same words or, often, in our case, giving God lengthy explanations, instructions, advice, and requests. We subconsciously treat God exactly as the ‘Gentiles’ treat their pagan gods, either hard of hearing or, worse, lacking in understanding, when we babble!

Jesus said that prayer is NOT about people or words. He gave us two ways to counteract our don’ts by changing our doing.

We can neutralise our self-awareness by praying in secret. Then our words won’t matter. Jesus specifically said that the Father ‘sees’, not ‘hears’, our secret prayers. We express our intention when we pray in secret. We want the Father, not people, to hear us so, we go aside and pray alone.

Babbling means that words spew out of our mouths like water from a fountain. God is not impressed by our carefully chosen and many words. He listens to the heart. He knows us. He knows our needs before we ask Him. He doesn’t need our words to explain or instruct.

That’s the reason for transparency when we pray because prayer is about intimacy, and intimacy and honesty go together.

God has given us a simple way to overcome our babbling. He told us just to say “Amen” to His promises.

‭2 Peter 1:4 NLT‬
[4] “And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”

‭2 Corinthians 1:20 NLT‬
[20] “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”

A simple “Amen” to whatever promise God gives us in time of need will cut off the flow of babbling and quieten our hearts to have confidence in His intention.

Instead of babbling, let’s listen. God has a word of reassurance… that He knows and He has a plan in everything for our good and His glory.

Read these matchless words of James Montgomery (1818). Perhaps, we can catch a glimpse of the enormity of true prayer that needs not words but heart to reach the heart of God.

“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air;
His watchword at the gates of death,
He enters heav’n with prayer

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, “Behold! He prays!”

Nor prayer is made on earth alone
The Holy Spirit pleads,
And Jesus at the Father’s throne
For sinners intercedes.

O thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way,
The path of prayer thyself hast trod
Lord, teach us how to pray.”

Source: Musixmatch