Avoiding Hypocrisy in Prayer

Dr Charles StanleyPeople who are uncomfortable praying in public tend to love Matthew 6:6 because Jesus advocates praying in secret. However, Christ’s point was not our location but our attitude. His admonition wasn’t to avoid public prayer; rather, it was a warning not to pray hypocritically by seeking the approval of others.

We may be quick to think we’d never do that, but in reality, corporate prayer can be intimidating to many believers. We wonder how we sound to others: Did I say the right things? What did they think when I stumbled on my words? Was my prayer too long? Too short?

Generally, our problem is less about trying to impress others with our eloquence and spirituality than it is about feeling self-conscious, tongue-tied, and inept. However, if our focus is on how we sound, we may still be praying like a hypocrite because all we can think about is ourselves and other people’s perception of us. Although we may not admit it, we want their approval.

But the Lord never calls us out for being inarticulate or using bad grammar. He’s listening to the motivation of our spirit. How well we speak doesn’t matter if we’re truly talking to Him and not other people. When our focus is on God, His Spirit unites with ours, and those who hear are drawn into that sweet communion.

The solution for hypocrisy is not abstinence from all public prayer. Whether we pray in a closet or in an auditorium filled with people, we must remember that we’re speaking to an audience of one, and He delights in hearing from His children.

Source: Your Daily Devotion, In Touch Ministries, December 2016.

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When the sign turned.

CorPDear friends,

Happy New Month.

I know we all have a rushing feeling as the year 2016 draws to a final close. If you are like me, there will be so many reflections about the year. What went well, what didn’t go as planned etc. In all of this, please be encouraged by the devotion below. All things work together for our good.

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A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help”. There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by and he took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat.

He took the sign and, turned it around and wrote some words on it. He put the sign back so that everyone who would walk by would see the new words. Soon, the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving more money to the blind boy.

That afternoon, the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognised his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write? The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way. I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day; but I cannot see it.”

Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind and asked for sympathy. The second sign reminded people how fortunate they were to have their sight. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Be thankful for what you have. Be creative, be innovative. Think differently and positively. Be positive and have a great attitude. Be positive, patient and persistent. Don’t forget how blessed you are. Being negative only makes your life’s journey more difficult. Don’t be negative when you have so much to be positive about and at least, you are alive.

Count your blessings, not your burden. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

It’s already December! No matter how 2016 has been, keep the faith and drop the fear. Faith is not about everything turning out OK. Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out. If you appreciate this message, please share.

For every bad event that may have happened to you this year, there is at least, one good thing.

Focus on that good thing as the year ends.

Source: Our Daily Manna. October to December 2016.

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Killing the joy killers

affirmation stonesDear friends,

Happy new month.

This year is on the go and speeding so fast that I barely have the time to catch my breath. I have been involved with so many tasks that brings great days and not so great days. Always needing an avenue to refuel my walk in God, I have this piece to share with you.

I pray it ministers to you as we journey on.

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A wise woman once said: “You can’t be happy unless you are unhappy sometimes”. Then Nehemiah 8verse10 says “The joy of the Lord is my strength”. Since Satan does not want you strong enough to deal with him, he will do all he can to steal your joy daily in 2016.That is why you must guard your joy daily against joy killers. Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. That is why your joy and happiness is a journey and not a destination.

Resist depression, self-pity, regret over past mistakes because really, happiness is not in your circumstances but in yourself. Happiness is knowing that you being alive alone is enough, so cherish it. Happiness keeps you sweet, trails keep you strong, sorrows keep you human, failures keep you humble, God keeps you going.

Always remember that the happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything but they just make the best of everything. Laugh by force, rejoice by force, dance without a reason, and sing even when your rainbow disappears because sometimes, JOY is as a result of your CHOICE and not because there are no battles.

As much as possible, avoid people and circumstances that steal your joy. Put away pictures, letters or anything that reminds you of your ugly past. You have just one life, don’t waste it. Consider the following KILLERS of your happiness this year.

  1. Regretting the past
  2. Worrying about the future
  3. Comparing yourself to others
  4. Anger/Bad temper
  5. Life’s Battles
  6. Un-forgiveness
  7. Complaining
  8. Planning to quit
  9. Selfishness
  10. Thinking negatively
  11. Living beyond your means
  12. Secret Sin

Source: Our Daily Manner, July to September 2016

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