Matthew 6:7-8 NRSVue
7“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
You know one teacher’s advice on learning to pray: /Say the Lord’s Prayer, and take an hour to say it./ There is no word or phrase in it which does not repay you if you mine it for meaning, and savour it: for instance Our – not just my father, for I share You with the human race. Is there anyone whom I feel uneasy to claim as a sister or brother? Take the prayer slowly, breathing slowly as you relish it and are led into its depths.
A lot of religion and faith-practice is personal, known by few others. Jesus praises that, not that religion should not be public, but that it not be practiced for any reason other than for God and for the good of others. We pray because we need God, and we pray because God is God. Maybe you might offer prayer today for the praise and glory of God and no other reason.
We get tired of words in prayer. The best prayer may be silent. Jesus own prayer hints at what feeds prayer - an attitude of praising God, desiring the kingdom of love, peace and justice to come on earth, trying to unite our desires with the desires of God for us and for the world, and to rest in our efforts to forgive others.