Prayer is an EXPRESSION of our DESIRE before God. The Bible records that many people HAD their prayers ANSWERED. EVERY ONE of them prayed with a DESIRE. Without a DESIRE, there is NO NEED for prayer. If what we pray for TRULY COMES from the BOTTOM of our heart, SURELY the ANSWERS to our prayers will NOT be so FEW. It is because our DESIRE is NOT SINGLE that our prayers become SOUNDING BRASS and CLANGING CYMBALS. The GREATEST DANGER to prayer is attempt to be ORNATE and to pray according to FORMAL RULES. There is MORE danger in PUBLIC prayer than in private prayer. Actually, nine times out of ten the LONG PRAYERS of a “thousand words” are EMPTY prayers. I am afraid such prayers are DIRECTED more toward MEN than towards God. Many times, the CONTENT of a prayer is VERY PLEASANT, the VOICE VERY DESPERATE, and the TONE VERY HARMONIOUS. Yet EVERYTHING is directed toward MAN. God will NOT hear nor answer such a prayer. Prayer that are WITHOUT any DESIRE are MOCKERY to God. In God’s eyes these prayers are DETESTABLE. Even when a person PRAYS alone, is it NOT true that many TERM he uses are FAMILIAR terms that are UTTERED without much thought? Because the words have become familiar, the SAME words may be uttered WITHOUT any RESPONSE from the heart. Such prayers are really a WASTE of time. They are WORSE than USELESS.Those who TRULY understand God and His holiness and majesty will NEVER DO such things. If we come to God with a PURE HEART and realize who He is with whom we have come FACE to FACE, would we ever DARE to be HYPOCRITICAL? Actually, we should NEVER pray BEYOND what the HOLY SPIRIT has PROMPTED us TO PRAY. If we do this, surely it is COUNTERFEIT. Hence, it is BEST to ALLOW the Holy Spirit to PLACE in our spirit the THINGS that we should pray FOR, so that we will NOT OFFEND God. We should LEARN to be HONEST before God. It is BETTER to have SHORT prayers than FALSE prayers. We should PAY ALL the more ATTENTION when we pray for OTHERS. Many SUPPLICATIONS are but a kind of PAYMENT of debts! Thus, there is NO sense of DESIRE, and the whole things is a MERE ROUTINE. Therefore, those who do NOT have a REAL love for OTHERS CANNOT pray for OTHERS. When we FEEL others’ NEED to be OUR OWN, we will pray SINCERELY for them. When we FEEL others’ NEED in the same way they FEEL it themselves, we will make SUPPLICATIONS for them FAITHFULLY. It is because there is NO love for OTHERS that prayers have become mere EMPTY voices. We should SYMPATHIZE with others MORE and should IDENTIFY ourselves with others MORE. May we henceforth pray with our MOUTH and also with our HEART. May our prayers REACH the presence of God like FRAGRANCE.
Based on the book “Twelve Baskets Full” by Watchman Nee