Saturday, December 14, 2013

When We Pray...

I won't hide it from you... if this is half as convicting to you as it is to me, it won't be a "fun" read, but it will be profitable. I was about to start praying for someone this evening and thought, "I should tell so and so that I am praying for them.", but gave little thought to actually praying for them. The Lord brought Matthew 6:5-6 to mind...
When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
In a moment, I realized that I had created my own slightly different hypocritical way of "praying". Actually, it was worse in a way. At least they were praying! I was going to go ahead and "announce" my praying and then put half as much time into actually praying for them as it would take to "announce" it. Maybe announcing it to one person is better than on the street corner, but regardless, it is seeking to please man rather than God and it is not the fervent or effectual prayer that accomplishes much.

It is not wrong to encourage someone in the Lord by saying, "Hey, I'm praying for you!" In fact, I think it is quite uplifting when someone says that to me! However, if we say such things to get a "thank you" rather than to be an encouragement in the Lord... and perhaps not even get around to praying about it... what good is that? Wouldn't we be much better off to pray in private and not even speak a word about it to anyone but God?! I expect that when I get to heaven, there will be countless people there that have prayed for me and prayers that God has answered that I was never aware of. Maybe even people who's name I cannot even remember. I want to be that kind of man. Yes, I want to encourage people and let them know I'm praying for them. But, I want to faithfully pray for people regardless of their knowledge of it and witness the Lord's work and praise Him for it. God, forgive me for the ways in which I have been a hypocrite in prayer and make me a faithful prayer warrior for Your glory alone!

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