Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 4 May 2023. Today’s topic: Keep It Simple

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.   Matthew 6:7-8

Have you seen the videos of people so caught up in prayer that they start dancing, running in circles, talking in tongues, and such?  Most of the videos are done to mock Christians, yet, if you watch them, they also seem to show ridiculousness.

Now, I’ve never talked in tongues, and I don’t want to disparage those who genuinely do.   If I walked into a room and heard people speaking Mandarin who had never learned it before, I would be stunned; I might genuinely think they were having a revelation from Holy Spirit.   If, on the other hand, I walked into a sanctuary and heard people uttering unintelligible sounds but saying it was Holy Spirit talking through them, well, I’d be inclined to think it wasn’t.   I believe I speak for most people in saying this.

God wants us to pray with Him, to say our inmost thoughts to Him and tell Him what is really on our hearts and minds.   He wants us to speak with Him in ways that we understand because He already understands what we’re saying.   Sometimes, those inmost thoughts can form chants, or mantras, or things we repetitively say over and over.   Maybe even those “tongue” sounds.  If our motivation is to honestly pray, to bring glory to God, then let it happen with gusto, no matter what it sounds like!

Yet if it’s any other motivation, then we should be wary.  This includes talking in tongues, which (according to Paul) is a gift given to evangelize to others.  The gift is language, not babbling incoherently.   Make no mistake:   God understands it all because He understands what we say from the heart.   But others?   Probably not so much.  If the ‘gift’ isn’t to praise God for the edification of others, then perhaps it isn’t a gift from the Lord.

Again, I don’t want to disparage those who find all this as a way of genuinely praising God.  They’re blessed with a gift I haven’t been given, and that’s ok.  But we should watch it.   And, in doing so, we should watch what WE say as well.   Long, flowery talks and prayers can praise and serve God as well, but if they turn into words spoken just for us, then we’ve left the praise behind.   The better way is, as Jesus said, “let our yes mean yes and our no mean no.”  Keep it simple.

For more reading:  1 Kings 18:26-29, Ecclesiastes 5:2, Matthew 5:37, 1 Corinthians 14:1-25, James 5:12, Matthew 6:9

Lord, bless us by having us speak genuinely in tongues in ways that praise You without babbling.

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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