Too often we pray hopeless, yet pious prayers like this. Lord, help me to forgive. Actually, we should be praying Lord I forgive ____________________because you said so.
Another example is that we use the word just at every opportunity in prayer. For example, we ask God to ‘just’ be with us when he promised to be with us always!
The word just means behaving according to what is morally right and fair. Synonyms for the word include fair, fair-minded, equitable, even-handed, impartial, unbiased, objective, neutral.
We know that God is all those things so why are we begging him to be that, when he already is?
Now don’t let these thoughts dissuade you from praying. That is not my goal at all. Pray, folks. Pray!
But please pray from your heart, not expounding what you think others want to hear. Big bombastic praying is not for God’s ears but only said to impress your listeners. Remember your biggest listener and biggest fan is God. Your words won’t impress him but your heart will.
“And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. (Matthew 5:33-37, MSG)
Prayer- Lord we determine to pray to you, not to our audience. In Jesus’ name through the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.