Jesus said, “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
What does he mean don’t pray like the gentiles? I am a gentile. In fact, I am a gentile pastor who prays publicly. I have given much thought to what makes a helpful prayer. I think it has something to do with my heart and my intellectual intentions. There is no room for showing off. There is only room for vulnerability. And brevity may be key. Peace to you, Keith