Is this how you wish to pray?

October 16, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
(Matthew 6:7 (NIV))

Have you ever been accused of babbling?

Merriam-Webster defines babbling as idle, foolish, or nonsensical talk or chatter. When you hear someone talking in this manner, do you feel the urge to tell them to get to the point? Do you even bother to listen to the words that are being uttered. Do you zone out and nod slightly to make it look like you are listening? At times, it appears that the person who is talking simply likes the sound of their own voice. It can get annoying!

With this defined, let’s go back to my first question. Have you ever been accused of babbling? Better yet, have you ever approached the throne room of God in prayer only to babble on and on simply because you were too afraid to ask the Lord for what you seek in a bold and confident manner? Perhaps you found yourself babbling because you knew deep down that your motives for what you ask were wrong.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
(James 4:3 (NIV))

Human nature is a funny thing. We think that we can hide what we truly desire and the motives for that desire, but our actions give us away. Simply think about the many times when you were a child where you approached your parents to ask for something. You had probably made up a story that wasn’t quite true and you talked and talked and talked hoping that your words would be convincing. Your parents knew. Now, think about this from God’s perspective. He knows our hearts. He knows the true desires and the true motives that we try to hide from public display when we try using a constant barrage of words.

We put up a facade! We try to convince ourselves and others that our motives are noble when they are simply self-serving.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”
(James 4:6 (NIV))

Humility doesn’t have anything to say. Humility is quiet and unassuming. When we put on humility, we simply surrender to the Lord and fully rely upon His mercy and grace. We surrender our motives and embrace His motives. We put self aside and when we do this, our words don’t matter. What matters is our heart!

Is this how you wish to pray?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Godless chatter

August 3, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
(2 Timothy 2:16-17a (NIV))

Do you hear godless chatter throughout your day? It is a disease that rots the very soul of those who come into contact with it. It does all that it can to destroy those who hear it and those who speak it.

It is said that you are what you eat. The Word of God is sweet nourishment for the soul. It is sweetness to all who will partake of it. It fills you with righteousness and a desire for godly things.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.
(Ezekiel 3:3 (NIV))

If God’s Word is sweet to to our taste and provides godly nourishment, what does godless chatter do to us? Does it make sense that it would be bitter and bring bitterness and sin into our lives?

We must always watch our own actions and our own words. The right words can lift up and encourage. The wrongs words can do a considerable amount of damage resulting in a rapid spreading of all types of godlessness and sin.

What do you do when godless chatter is around? Do you take part or do you turn from the godlessness and turn toward God?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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