People who are living breathe. People who are Christians pray. As soon as a child is born, he breathes the air around him, and as soon as a person is born again in Christ, he wants to pray.
But prayer can be a struggle. Why do we struggle so much with prayer? It’s because we lose sight of the most important reason we are praying. The purpose of prayer is fellowship with God.
When you finish praying, ask yourself this question, “Did I fellowship with God today?” If what you just did was filled with words to impress others, just trying to complete a checklist, or repetitive “spiritual phrases” over and over, you didn’t really fulfill the purpose of prayer. I’m sorry to tell you, you missed the point. Jesus wants your prayer life to be sincere, He wants you to know Him, talk to Him, and feel His presence.
Christ warns in the following verses about the ways we can get sidetracked in our prayers. The hypocrites prayed like this:
*Their Posture: Standing so they would impress others.
*The Place: In the synagogues to be heard by others.
*In Public: On the busy street corners, to impress others.
*The Product: They had their reward, which was the praise of man.
In other words… they missed the point of prayer completely.
Compare what the hypocrites did to what Jesus modeled and taught. Your prayer time could be kneeling (posture), in secret (place), privately conversing with God (not public), and the result would be that you genuinely fellowshipped with God and He heard and answered you (the product).
The greatest question you can ask yourself after you pray is this, “Did I fellowship with God today?
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:5-7
Do you focus on checking the boxes on your prayer list or do you intentionally fellowship with God in prayer? What changes do you need to make in order to be more connected to God in fellowship with Him?