But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.Matthew 6:7
Sometimes, you find Christians who say, “I need powerful prayers; so please, pray a powerful prayer for me.” But what’s a powerful prayer anyway? What makes a prayer powerful? Is it the loudness of the voice of the one praying, or is it because they’re speaking religious words? Well, what you need isn’t a “powerful” prayer, but a simple prayer to a powerful God.
The Lord Jesus, in our opening verse, said that when you pray, you shouldn’t act like the heathen who use vain, repetitive words. They erroneously think they’ll be heard for their much speaking; Jesus said we shouldn’t pray like that. That kind of prayer won’t work Read His words: “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
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Learn to pray like Jesus; He prayed and acted simply. Imagine the simple way He prayed at the tomb of Lazarus. The Bible says, “…And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:41-43).
What makes my prayer work is faith, and not the multitude or multiplicity of words. Jesus made this very clear in Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Therefore, make your prayers simple; pray with faith, and avoid vain repetitions.
When you pray in other tongues, your spirit, by the Holy Spirit, prays according to the will of God. That’s primarily the way you ought to pray as a Christian: pray with the spirit first; that is, in tongues, before you pray with your understanding, your natural earthly language. “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
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