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Do Your Prayers Bounce Off The Ceiling



"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Now when evening came, he was alone there." Matthew 14:23 How does one pray? Well ...we won't have a better example than Jesus himself. He shut out the world, sent his disciples away, then went off by himself to a place of seclusion. Prayer is not something to be done lightly or half-heartedly, it's far too important for that. Prayer can change situations. A man I knew told me that before his grandmother died, she told him she had prayed for him every single day. It was only years later that those prayers were answered, but the question remains, what if she had not prayed? What if she got tired of it and gave it up? What if she saw him go astray and concluded that prayer is useless? What if she lost heart and just stopped? But she remained faithful, and now this man is following the Lord with all of his heart. Because she didn't give up nor tire of it. Then ...Jesus told us what NOT to do in prayer: Do not pray before people to show them how religious you are. That kind of prayer is useless. It doesn't come from the heart, and is couched in religious words to make you look "so spiritual," but that prayer will not leave the room you are in, it will bounce off the ceiling and go no higher because your motive is to make yourself feel religious. No, go into your room where you are alone, and pray in secret. In a setting like that, when there's no self-glorifying motive, knowing full well that you can't impress God, pray from your heart. Speak to the Lord as though he were sitting in a chair opposite you. From the heart. In all honesty and humility. "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." Matthew 6:6 vs 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." Rosaries won't work, folks. To "pray a rosary" is to take beads and recite the same prayer to Mary over and over again by rote on every bead. That is not only idolatry (praying to someone other than God which is clearly forbidden throughout his Word) but it's just plain useless. That kind of prayer will also bounce off the ceiling. It may make you feel religious, but in all honesty it's totally useless. God does not want religious rote from us. He wants our hearts. "These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their HEART is far from me; and in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9 Prayer is one of the most important things one can do in life, but it has to be done right. Keep it between you and God, speak to him privately and daily, commit yourself and all that is yours to him, make yourself available to serve him, worship and glorify him; that kind of prayer will rise to the very Throne of God and will accomplish much. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:16