Three Kinds Of Prayer

Posted By on Monday, April 02, 2018

1. Whom, in particular, does the Lord have in mind by the “hypocrites” in 6:5? The Pharisees who were not seekers of God, but seekers of popularity who prostituted devotion into a means of self-aggrandizement by choosing places and times that would render the saying of their prayers conspicuous

2. Point out the characteristics of the hypocrite’s prayer in 6:5:
(1) Wrong motivation. The hypocrite prays to men under the guise of praying to God. In actuality he does not pray; he only parades his pretended devotion in order to solicit men’s favorable opinion and admiration
(2) False evaluation. The hypocrites, with their irreligious religion, were more interested in being seen by men than they were in being heard by God because they valued the praise of men much more than the praise of God
(3) Vain ostentation. The hypocrite’s yearning for the gratification of his vainglorious desires made him select the public concourses and religious centers for prayer, not because “they loved to pray,” but because “they loved to pray” THERE
(4) Worthless compensation. Inasmuch as the religious hypocrites were only interested in the praise of men, that is the only reward they get which is, when they do get it, at best only a temporary reward of doubtful merit

3. Comment on the hypocrite’s prayer, 6:5:
(1) Standing to pray is one thing; standing to pray in order to be seen is quite another – and so is kneeling, if this be the purpose. One is as reprehensible as the other
(2) Long prayers (Matt. 23:14) do not necessarily evidence extraordinary devotion to God and piety of life, but may be a subtle method to insinuate oneself into the confidence of the unwary for personal gain
(3) Instead of secretly looking to God, the hypocrite secretly looks around to see what impression his religious pretence is making upon those whose good opinion he so eagerly covets