Monday, November 11, 2013

Matthew 6:7,8

"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him."

In revealing truth on prayer, the Lord Jesus' main thrust focused on purity of inner motivation in contrast to prideful, outward attempts to impress.  "Meaningless repetition" was very much a part of pagan ritual, as efforts to persuade unwilling gods involved lengthy praying and religious cajoling.  A pertinent illustration is found in the episode of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, (I Kings 18:26, 28, 29).   "Then they (the pagan prophets) took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning to noon saying, 'O Baal, hear us.'  But there was no voice and no one answered.  And they leaped about the altar which they made.  So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them.  When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention."
It is human nature to wonder about God, to try to communicate with Him.  And it seems right to bombard the Deity with as many words as possible, preferably said over and over again (i.e., the Roman Catholic rosary).  The inherent danger is a disconnect between what is said and what is heart-driven.  To make matters worse, we have this blind spot: the totally illogical assumption that we can somehow fool Him.  Yet Scripture is clear: "...all things are open and laid bare before the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do," (Hebrews 4:13).  Therefore, there is no real possibility of impressing the One who knows our frame, who is mindful that we are but dust.  Let our words genuinely reflect our heart, regardless.  He knows....and that's enough.


pwokens said...

I think that Nehemiah verse is a good one for showing defending those you love is the proper action to take. I never could see a father not protecting his family , I might need to grow in this area but I feel i need to lay my life down for them 'John 15:13'
Take care brother ,
Good blog we need to keep the witness of Gods truth out there for people and always give a reason for the hope in us !

Dr. Mac said...

Thanks for the confirmation, brother! Nehemiah has much to say to us about godly leadership, courage and conviction. God Bless!