The Prayer and Praise MythWeekly meetings of most denominations are referred to as prayer meetings, praise meetings, and/or worship services. Praise is regarded as an essential (if not predominant) element in the Christian community.Unfortunately, we discover once again that Christ had almost nothing to say on the subject. His criticisms of people who say to him, "Lord! Lord!" appear to treat praise with a bit of scepticism. (See also the Jesus myth.)Human experience has shown that people who say the nicest things about us in public are often the most damning behind our backs. Continual and forced flattery is a very poor cover-up for genuine communication.Anyone who needs (or even desires) an audience when he is praising God must have a very shallow private relationship with him.I do not need to flaunt my relationship with my wife to prove my love for her, or to prove I am not ashamed of her. In fact, if I did, most people would regard it as a sick perversion of a very private matter.
Christ taught, "
Do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and on the street corners, that they may be seen of men. But, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father in secret." (Mat. 6:5-6) Where is this being taught and practiced today?Genuine praise and worship are not public acts but continual attitudes. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) And obedience is the highest form of praise.
Matthew 6:5-6: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
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