ARE YOU PRAYING BIBLICALLY, OR ARE YOU JUST PRAYING?
Updated: Aug 16, 2018
Not only did Jesus teach us how to pray, He also taught us how not to pray! Prayer for the purpose of being heard by people, or for the purpose of impressing people, is BAD PRAYER! Jesus said, “And when you pray, do not use vain (or meaningless) repetitions as the heathen do. For they think (or suppose) that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7).
One example of “dramatic” public prayer can be a “theatrical-type” version that for “emphasis,” uses a voice foreign to one’s “normal speaking voice.” Examples include the loud (or even shouting) prayer, or the prayer that uses extreme “volume fluctuations.” Some people even insert the spiritual “lip smack” just before they say “amen,” for “emphasis” (if you’ve ever heard this, you understand the reference).
Another example of dramatic or theatrical prayer, is the “Holy-tone” prayer, that may include words used in the “King James Version” of the Bible, or words that seek to demonstrate one’s mastery of their vocabulary. While I was in seminary, a certain faculty member prayed publically using such eloquent words that, after he concluded a prayer, students used to joke that God’s response was, “Huh?”
As far as the “length” of a prayer is concerned, Jesus’ habit, was usually to be brief with the “public” prayer (a possible exception being the “High Priestly Prayer of John 17), and unhurried with the “private” prayer (when He sometimes prayed for an entire night). Whenever dramatic “public” prayer is a prayer of excessive length, listeners often struggle to remain attentive.
So let’s all remember when we pray publically, that (1) even in “corporate” prayer, our “audience” is GOD (not man), and that (2) there is no place in Scripture to suggest that either God, or Satan (such as when you verbally REBUKE the devil), is “hard of hearing.”