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. Matt 6:5
Sometimes it feels like Christianity is becoming a form of entertainment where some men and women “put on a show” and give the world something to fascinate them and to talk about. As I write, over the last few months there have been entertaining (and yet somewhat unsettling) stories out of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya about controversial Pastors who whether rightly or wrongly have put on some sort of a show.
The Bible challenges each of us to check our own hearts to see what motives we have for doing what we do, and in the case of today’s verse for praying. Do we pray to be seen by me? Do we put on a show for them when we pray? Do we put our spiritual life on display when it is convenient to impress others and to help us gain popularity, admiration and respect? Do we put on our spiritual mask when we are around others so that what they see is someone who is on fire and in love with Jesus when in actual fact we are struggling and feel far from him?
Check your heart today and if any of this describes you, come before God and repent. Ask him to forgive you and to help you live an authentic spiritual life and to cultivate a healthy prayer life. Pray, he is with you and listening.