5 signs of a babbling prayer

Few spiritual disciplines matter as much in life as prayer. If you have missed the kick off to our prayer series, please click here or use the Catalyst church app to get access to the message.

I have always been struck by the frank words of Jesus in Matthew 6:7-8

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think 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.

So here are 5 signs you are praying a babbling prayer.

  1. Clichés in your prayers. Things like, “Dear Lord, please be with me today…” At first glance that sounds really holy, but really – isn’t God always present? Jesus says in Matt 28:20 ‘Surely I am with you to the end of the age’. Why ask him to do what he has already promised?
  2. Meaningless repetition. Almost be worth recording your prayers and counting the number of times you say the same things in different ways. Remember your Father knew what you needed the first time you said it!
  3. Just Fill. Think through what you pray. Actually listen to your prayers and see how much of them are just fill, just the things you are supposed to say. For example, ‘thankyou for this day, my family, booboo the dog, my socks…’ If you were sitting with a friend you wouldn’t be bland, so don’t be bland with God.
  4. Using God’s name as a comma. I know I may be getting onto dangerous territory, but we all know how we can use terms like, ‘Heavenly Father’ as a comma or a chance to think of the next phrase in our prayer.
  5. No space for listening. Prayer is two ways. Do you ever pause long enough to allow his Spirit to speak to you? To perhaps nudge you or even lead the prayers you are praying? Or are they always nonstop talking on your end?

Remember we approach God in relationship. As a son or a daughter. Our prayers should be reverent but also relational.

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