Tuesday: 12th March, 2019
1st reading: Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 55
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
Matthew 6:7, 8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Prayer, which is one of the greatest privileges of the Christian has also become one source of our greatest failure. It has become nothing short of a surprise to see how our attitudes to prayer have evolved over time. It seems as though the more time progresses, the harder it becomes for us to get on our knees. The days of doing nothing without prayer appear to be over.
Today therefore, Jesus reminds us of the place of prayer while highlighting two key principles that seem to be a central part of our attitude in prayer.
1. WE DO NOT PRAY TO IMPRESS GOD
The length of our prayers coupled with the quality of grammar have very little to do with the response of God. Rather, prayer that proceeds from a sincere heart has a greater likely of piercing heaven than hours of Shakespeare-like rattling of words that freeze upon touching our lips: words that lack sincerity. My dear, we don’t approach God to show off.
2. WE DO NOT PRAY TO INFORM GOD
Jesus was rather emphatic on this: ‘before you pray, your father already knows your needs’. Our prayers are therefore not points of information to God, they are our invitation to Him. In our prayer, we invade God’s personal space and give Him permission to intervene in our own affairs.
So beloved, if so far you have been informing and seeking to impress God, now may be a good time to change your approach and invite him instead.