Today’s Scripture: But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7  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 6:6-7

“Oh, dear Lord, we come to Thee…”, Mr. Hollender began to pray. The congregation had already broken up into small prayer groups for the conclusion of the Wednesday evening service. As usual, Mr. Hollender’s intricately worded prayers could be heard above everyone else’s.

For years, he took great pride in his lofty prayers. But one rainy night changed his perspective. On his way to church, Mr. Hollender received a call that his unsaved mother was near death.

He parked the car on the side of the road and began to pray. All he could whisper through his tears was, “Dear Lord, save her. Please, give her more time.” For the first time in years, he prayed sincerely.

The Lord never tells believers that prayers are to be filled with difficult vocabulary words or ostentatious sentences. On the contrary, He admonishes to pray quietly—not to be heard of men but of God.  Prayer is not to use vain repetitions and wordiness to impress other believers. Instead, pray with sincerity.

Whether you pray to be heard, sing to be noticed, or do your work for a pat on the back, remember, if your motives are to impress other believers, you already have your reward. Only when you set yourself aside will you be rewarded in Heaven. Apply God’s perspective of prayer to every area of your life. Choose to glorify Him.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder