Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014 “Nowhere Prayers”

“The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself…” (Luke 18:11)

Good Morning, Be You Sunny or Snowbound Today!

I have a small confession to make today. Quite often, I find that I am talking to myself. I have been doing so since childhood. Most of the time, it’s just thoughts, but from time to time, I voice those thoughts audibly. I did it more so as a child, but still find myself doing it. I believe I am just naturally vociferous. Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard…I’m not sure. I know of some people who claim that they do so because it is the most intelligent conversationalist of whom they are aware! I make no such claims. Most of the time, my self-conversations are little more than muttering. Anyway, I’m glad I confessed this particular foible of mine. Most of the time, self-conversation is harmless, but Jesus suggests that there are times it slips over into the category of prayer insincerity.  Jesus uses the example of the Pharisee and the publican who both went into the temple to pray. The Pharisee’s prayer had the veneer of holiness and sincerity, but Jesus knew it for what it really was…an exercise in self-aggrandizement and insincerity. He compared the Pharisee’s prayer as being little more than “self-talk”, suggesting that he was praying “thus within himself.” It was really a “Nowhere Prayer”. Christian pastor, preacher, and author A.W. Tozer said,

“When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves.”

To be “glib” is to be “fluent and voluble but insincere and shallow.”  Long, loquacious prayers may be impressive to hear, but to God, they are “nowhere prayers”…little more than talking to one’s self. Let your prayers come straight from the heart. Don’t let the Enemy convince you of your inadequacy in talking to the Almighty and discourage you from genuine prayer. God understands every word, and the motivations behind each prayer. Pray with sincerity, humility, and expectation. God understands. Let’s pray!

Heavenly Father; You know the prayers of our hearts. You understand our deepest desires. You delight in our prayers of praise and thanksgiving. You empathize with our greatest needs and our deepest sorrows. Encourage us by Your love and grace and Your abiding presence to open our hearts and our mouths in expectant sincerity as we come to you even now, in Jesus’ great Name. Amen!

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