There are many kinds of prayer and descriptions of how to pray, as well as many body positions of prayer. The most common are kneeling, hands (palms) together, and eyes closed. When we see someone in any of these positions we think they are praying.

The most important thing we need to know about prayer is not the position or what we say or how we say our prayer, but what the purpose and the heart attitude of the one praying is.

Jesus said in what we call the Lord’s prayer is we must forgive; for if we do not forgive then God will not forgive us. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they stood in the marketplace to be seen by people. What He is saying is they are wasting their time.

The other thing that they did was they dressed in long robes. Our kind of dressing does not impress God. They also had long and sad faces: probably to impress people of a fake humility. The Pharisees were supposed to be the religious people of that day.

Jesus then pointed to a publican (not a Republican!). One that everyone considered an outright sinner, and thought that God would have nothing to do with him.

Jesus noted that both his body position and his words were pleasing and he was recognized by God. The publican smote his breast and said, “God be merciful unto me for I am a sinner.” Jesus said that the publican went home justified, because he humbled himself and was exalted by God.

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