But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.…
Let all examine themselves as to whether they have prayed aright, and whether their prayers have done them good.
I. ARE YOUR MINDS MADE MORE SPIRITUAL by your prayers to God, the Father of Spirits?
1. Are you raised above the petty concerns of this world?
2. Do you feel your souls enlarged in universal love and charity?
3. Can you trust God more confidently?
4. Do your prayers make you more just and merciful?
II. Closely examine yourselves, every one of you, as TO WHETHER YOUR PRAYERS GIVE YOU A TASTE OF SUCH PLEASURE IN GOD, and in holiness and goodness, as to make you desire to be better acquainted with them.
1. Is your care for this world daily suppressed and deadened?
2. Are your thoughts at rest in God, and in His love?
3. Are your hearts set upon rectifying all disorders in your souls?
4. Is it the highest boon we can ask of God, that we may be thoroughly and universally good? Then it is certain our prayers have been truly devout, and highly acceptable to God; which if we do not yet feel, let it not discourage but quicken our spirits to more frequent and fervent prayer.
(Symon Patrick, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.