Praying with Sincerity

Sermon on the Mount: Instructions for Life

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:5-8).

Again, notice the actions of the hypocrites. They were praying in a public place at a highly visible location (Matthew 6:5). They used “many words” so that they would be heard by men (Matthew 6:8).

As we noticed with those who would turn helping the poor into a show, it is possible to benefit others when these prayers were offered. If one is leading others in prayer, though his heart may be corrupt, his prayer may benefit those who are sincere that are being led in that prayer. But when praying in public, is our intent to offer prayers and supplications to God or is it to impress others with our eloquence?

Jesus said we are to pray in secret (Matthew 6:6). This does not mean we cannot offer public prayers or pray in a public place. The point is that private prayers should be private. If we do offer a prayer (not leading others in prayer in an assembly that has gathered for that purpose) in a public place (such as praying before a meal in a restaurant), we should do so discreetly and not make a show of it. Others may notice what we are doing, but we are not to pray in such a way as to draw more attention to ourselves. We should be praying to God, not to be noticed by others.

Also, Jesus said that we are to pray with simplicity, rather than using “meaningless repetition” and “many words” (Matthew 6:7). We do not need to try and impress anyone with our eloquence or verbosity. Remember what Jesus said: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). Therefore, our prayers do not need to contain many unnecessary words; they just need to be offered in simplicity and sincerity.


The above post is an excerpt from the book, Sermon on the Mount: Instructions for Life. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Pray for Our Leaders (Plain Bible Teaching)

Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years

The following is an excerpt from the book, Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years.

The United States will eventually fall, whether this is in two years or two hundred years. But as Christians, we are part of a kingdom “which will never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44). While being a citizen of the United States certainly has its advantages, we must remember that first and foremost, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).

We also need to pray for “all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:2). Why is “a tranquil and quiet life” important? Paul explained: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). Liberty and security are the best conditions for the gospel to be spread. We must pray for our leaders that we might be able to enjoy our natural, God-given rights unhindered so that we may be able to influence as many people as possible.

You can read more in Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Civil Government: Chapter 9 – Our Responsibility to Civil Authorities (Excerpt)

Civil Government - coverPaul said it was “good and acceptable in the sight of God” that we are permitted to “lead a tranquil and quiet life” (1 Timothy 2:2-3). But why does God see this as good and acceptable? The answer is in the next verse: “Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). The implication here is that a government that does not meet its divinely given role is a threat and an obstacle to the spread of the gospel.

The purpose of praying for a tranquil and quiet life is not for our own comfort or prosperity. Those are certainly benefits, but the primary purpose is something far more important than those.

The purpose of a tranquil and quiet life is so that the gospel can be taught freely and openly so that others can hear it. Once they hear it and believe it, they can obey it without interference. Those who have obeyed it can continue to follow the Lord and lead others to Him. These things can happen amidst persecution, but they happen far more effectively without persecution.

So we must pray “for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:2-4).

You can read more about our responsibility to civil authorities in Civil Government: What the Bible Says About Its Origin, History, Nature, and Role. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!