5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” (Matthew 6:5)
They say confession is good for the soul.
I fight against this temptation but fail far too often. The temptation is when asked to pray in public I tend to give as much attention to the human listeners as the One I am supposedly praying to.
I try to follow these simple guidelines when praying in public.
Keep it short
This past weekend my friend Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty give the prayer before the NASCAR race in Charlotte. It was the shortest such prayer I have ever heard. It was to the point, asked what needed to be asked and he was done.
Don’t teach a lesson or preach a sermon
Praying is not telling everything you know about the Bible and God. Prayer is asking God for what you want and need. And, it seems to me that most of the time it is unnecessary to tell God a bunch of stuff as if He might not know or has forgotten.
Don’t pray to be heard of men
It would be OK if men could give you what you are supposed to be asking for, but they can’t. If you hear someone say “That was such a beautiful prayer”, be alert. Prayers are not intended to be beautiful, they are intended to ask God for what you need or want.
Always be thankful
It is clear to me that in the Bible, thanksgiving usually accompanied prayer. Prayer is asking, giving thanks is not prayer. The Scriptures speak of prayer and thanksgiving in the same verse. I have tried to remember to either give thanks before I ask or after every time I come to him.
Remember. Only those who pray get their prayers answered.
I am firmly convinced from my study of prayer in the Bible that most everyone who prays on a regular basis can expect many specific answers to their prayers. We should teach our children to pray and expect answers. Answers to our prayers should be normal, not abnormal