“How Not To Pray”
1. Don’t pray to be seen or heard – Remember, you’re speaking with God not so others will see or hear you. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5
2. Don’t speak “vain repetitions” – Use words you normally use when talking. Changing your tone of voice or using phrases repeated over and over is not prayer. Jesus said this is, “much speaking”, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Matthew 6:7. Be sincere.
3. Don’t get into pride with your praying – If you think YOU’RE a good pray-er, or YOU have privileged access to the throne room, or YOUR prayers are something special, then the focus is on you and not on God. “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”. Proverbs 16:18. You have a part but God does the work and gets the glory.
4. Don’t pray to statues, pictures, images, or people – This is idolatry. God told Moses that, while on the mountain, he only heard His voice, “but saw no similitude”, Deuteronomy 4:12, 15. Moses only heard God but didn’t see what God looked like. Pray to God only.
5. Don’t use God’s name carelessly – The third commandment. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” Exodus 20:7. Using God’s name in vain is not just saying the word “damn” with the name “God”. Any use of God’s name when you’re not talking to Him or about Him is using it in vain. Phrases like, “Oh my God!”, “Jesus Christ!” (as an exclamation), “Good God, did you see that!” or “God a-mighty” are all careless, vain, uses of the name of God and are prohibited.