Wednesday, September 4, 2019
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others.” [Matthew 6:5]
“Hey, didn’t Jesus say that only hypocrites pray out loud or something like that? Sorry, I decline the invitation to pray out loud today.” Yes, I have heard this passage referenced when asking people to pray, but I don’t think Jesus was talking about praying out loud per se. Jesus was talking about… the condition of the hearts of those praying. The “hypocrites” prayed to be seen, to receive recognition from other synagogue goers. “Wow, look at how pious they are!” Yet, the prayer was all show and no substance. That is why a verse later we hear Jesus saying, “Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.” How honest and raw are your prayers? Do you sugarcoat your words, as if you are praying for show? Or are you willing to say what is in your heart, trusting that only God is listening?
O God, give me the courage to be honest with you whether I pray in secret or out loud. May my prayers reflect my joys and sorrows, my triumphs and failures, my fears and hopes. Help me to trust you with the depths of my heart and soul. Amen.