By Lydia Lee
Growing up in church, my friends and I used to do the naughtiest things during service. We would time our pastor when he prayed, anticipating if he would break last week’s record! We even ranked those who prayed from the pulpit! And the reigning champion with a record of 9 minutes and 38 seconds is… I’m not telling!
There is no excuse for my lack of reverence during church services. That time, I thought, acted and treated prayer, an act so privileged and emphasized by Jesus Christ, as an insolent child.
Our heavenly Father did not expel me from church but in His grace, allowed me to grow and learn that while I may grow physically older, the mentality and attitude of an unlearned child can remain, if I do not let God’s word teach me.
I remembered praying like the hypocrites Jesus mentioned in Matthew 6. In my ignorance, I thought God would be too impressed by my flowery vocabulary to notice my empty heart. Sometimes I get nervous when asked to pray publicly because I had not rehearsed the “perfect” phrases. Silly me! Who did I think is really hearing my prayers? Is it not the God who sees my heart and not just hears my words?
Sometimes I prayed like the babbling pagans. I thought God, like any other earthly parent, would be bullied into giving me what I wanted as long as I badgered and whined long enough for it. Silly me! Who did I think God is? Is He not the Sovereign Lord who formed the world by the command of His word?
Truly, God who created and saved us deserves more than babblings and insincere words. May we learn from the disciples who said, “Lord, teach us to pray…” that we may be found really praying.
(This article is first published in Power Up With The King,
a Bible-study material printed and produced by Singapore Youth For Christ)