40 Days of PRAYER

Dr Jim Brown's TruNorth Devotional
40 Days of PRAYER
Day 16 | DON’T BABBLE | Matthew 6:7

Matthew 6:7
“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.”

As we continue our quick journey into Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” we come to this verse.  Here, Jesus is teaching that when praying to the Father, babbling and repeating rote prayers is NOT the way.

When my sisters and I were young, our mom taught us some prayers. We learned a prayer for meals and we learned a bedtime prayer. To her credit, she taught us these basics, which was a good thing for young children.

Some churches, though, seem to take this approach to their teaching HOW to pray to their adult parishioners… thus making them dependent on praying the RIGHT prayer (perhaps out of a prayer book) for every need.

The Pharisees did that too and repeated their prayers over and over and over again.
Jesus is teaching His crowd on the Mount that prayers were not to be merely recited.

Back in our childhood, we got SO GOOD at praying our rote-prayer before we ate that I could say it in about five seconds.  Looking back… that wasn’t praying.  I took no thought about God or His provision or thanking Him.  It was just something we did.

And that seems to be the gist of what Jesus was trying to teach here. That prayer – real prayer, the kind that God hears and responds to – is not a function of how many times you repeat a set of words.

Rote prayers were a good start – when we were children – but not as we grow up.  As we read in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.”

If you want to mature in the Lord, you need to be praying some non-scripted prayers… from your heart.

Prayer: LORD, I do want to learn to pray better. Please help and guide me.  Amen.