Don’t Pray Like This, Either
Kevin T. Bauder [This essay was originally published on May 11, 2012.] Jesus wanted to teach His disciples how to pray, but He also wanted to teach them how not to pray. In the Sermon on the Mount, He told them that they should not pray like the hypocrites (Matt. 6:5-6). For Jesus’ followers, prayer should never be offered in order to impress the people who might overhear it. He also taught that His disciples should not pray like idolaters (Matt. 6:7-8). According to Jesus, idolaters pray in empty repetitions, believing that their verbosity will gain a hearing from their deities. The true and living God, however, is never impressed by pointless reiteration. By forbidding empty repetition, Jesus was not forbidding all repetitions. Not every repetition is necessarily empty. Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain how certain biblical prayers could have been honoring to God. Perhaps the best illustration [more]
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