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Prayer

Matthew 5:5-8

“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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 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 yeah, when you pray, being ostentatious about it, long-winded, etc means that you are doing for the sake of others’ opinion of you.  You want them to think “what a devout person.”

I think this is something to take to heart in light of what happened early this morning in my town.  A hundred-odd people were shot.  Fifty of them died.  Everyone on social media is hashtagging prayers for Orlando.  Orlando doesnt need your prayers, especially not your public proclamations of them to make yourself look good to people who believe as you do.

Orlando needs your donations of money and pints of blood.  Prayer doesnt fill the veins of a victim bleeding out on an operating table.  Prayer doesnt help the Red Cross pay for a frightened parent to fly here to be with their bleeding, broken child.

The last thing we need is you to tell other people you’re praying for us.  Orlando needs your efforts to make sure this kind of thing stops happening.  So very proud of my friends in town who were on their feet instead of on their knees.

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Conveniently Forgotten Bible Passages…

“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

Matthew 7:1-3, KJV

 

So basically, it isn’t your place to judge people, especially when you yourself are guilty of what may be worse.  The best recent example of this is former Congressman Denny Hastert (R-Of Course).  He led the charge to impeach the President of the United States for lying about a sexual relationship with a woman other than his wife.  At the time Majority Whip of the House of Representatives, one of the most powerful offices in the United States Congress, Rep. Hastert was hiding the fact that he had molested three underaged boys on the wrestling team he had coached years before.

Extra Bonus Points… The then Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, later admitted to having had extra-marital affairs during both his first and second marriages.

Extra Extra Bonus Points… The then Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Henry Hyde, who was required to approve the Articles of Impeachment for consideration by the House also admitted to carrying on an extra-marital affair in past decades.

The Religious Right.  Holding others to standards they refuse to live up to for four thousand years.

 

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