Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
Week 35 Day 2
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Matthew 6: 5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the [b]hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you [openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
This beautiful image has always spoken to my heart. There is so much to see. The room, simple and perhaps a bit austere. The man, advanced in years implying a maturity founded in time and experience. His dress, simple, his posture humble, his meal simple, his Bible close at hand. If we are to paint the picture of what some would call “proper prayer” this is what it might look like. Humility, gratitude, faith, trust are all implied in this painting.
As a pastor I always struggled somewhat with the idea of so called “corporate prayer”. I have often wondered as the disciples and others were gathered, huddled in the upper room following the ascension of our Lord if one of them perhaps Peter or John gave voice aloud to the prayers of all, or if each one, “closeted” themselves in such a way as to bring their own petitions to God.
One of the very few public figures I have listened to in public prayer has been Billy Graham. He seemed at one and the same time to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak his own heart to God in compassion for those who were on hand to listen. What a tremendous gift.
Remember, prayer is communication. It is as involved with listening as it is with speaking.