Matthew 6:5 says “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites! They love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they have already been paid in full.”
Do you, like the hypocrites, try to impress others with the way you pray? I have before. Sad… but honest. Anyone but me?
But you know what, God wants us to be honest and genuine. He already knows our heart, so when we pray with other motives in mind, it doesn’t slip past Him.
Here are 2 suggestions on how to get real in prayer:
1) Don’t try to impress others with your prayers
Have you ever heard someone pray and when they are done you want to stand up and clap at their performance? Or have you been in a circle where everyone is praying and you keep seeing it move closer and closer to being your turn and you get all stressed out, worrying about what others will think?
It’s so refreshing to hear new Christians pray because they haven’t heard all the clichés yet and just say “Hi God, it’s me.”
The bottom line is that He just wants us to talk with Him about what’s on our mind. Just pray our heart. Reveal ourselves.
I have found that when I stop worrying about what others will think about my prayer life, then I can be released to enjoy it without pressure.
2) Don’t try to impress God with your prayers
I think we do this unconsciously. God made us and wants us to be real when we talk to Him.
In New Testament times, prayers were wordy, meaningless rituals. There was no spontaneity, no genuineness. But Jesus says don’t get caught up in ritual prayer. We don’t have to use fancy language… that doesn’t impress God.
Prayer is our communication with our Heavenly Father. We have the ability to go right to Him. He is a relational God and we were created for community. Prayer is a vital part of our walk!
Knowing that… who do you think is out to destroy it or make it too complicated or give us a complex about it? Yup… the Evil One.
Don’t let him do it. Stop him in his tracks.
Quit worrying about impressing others and God. Just speak your heart… speak it often… speak it with honesty… and just be… you.