empty prayers

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. [Matthew 6:7-8 CEV]

Two phrases pop out at me: "empty phrases" and "many words".

Several times a week I pray the Lord's prayer in a group setting.
I have to consciously slow my self down so that I can think about the words that I am praying.
It is so easy to pray and not think about the words that you are praying.

Jesus helps us by telling us that it is not really about the great words that we speak.
He indicates that prayer is simply sharing our hearts with the Father.
Not really the effective communication of our prayers but simply the actual act of prayer.

He tells us that God already knows what we need when we are not.
God is waiting for us to simply pray and invite Him to help us.
The Father longs for us to simply share our hearts with him.

Lord help me to be real when I pray.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. I would like to comment, but all I can think to say is 'Amen and Amen'!

    Keith Scherer

  2. When I listen to the children in my 1st 2nd 3rd Sunday School class pray.... they don't use empty phrases....they are so simplistic in their requests, I stand amazed.

  3. Empty phrases........

    Hi Bob,

    I think this one ties into praying in public for the sake of impressing men. Do we really think we can impress our Creator with long-winded yada-yada? Or with our intellect? We are fools if we do!

    And dear Wanda, the little ones have it right. This is why I never hesitate to ask young people to pray. Their prayers are answered!


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