In Matthew 6, Jesus is not so concerned with how we pray, as much as He is concerned with why we pray. The truth is, the intent of our prayers influences the impact of our prayers. For Christ, prayer is a time of genuine and sincere worship. It is a time that we bring ourselves, our concerns, our praise and total dependence to the Lord of our lives. He states that without the right intent, our shallow words are “all the reward we will ever get.”
Jesus directs us to enter prayer with no pretense, no put on, no concern with how our words impress others. Let our only intent be to bring before the Lord a genuine heart and spirit of openness toward Him.
It is with the right intent that He implores us to take these two steps toward sincerity.
1. Don’t be a hypocrite or try to be someone we’re not; just be you because God knows who you are anyway.
2. Don’t try to sound spiritual, because canned phrases don’t impress God.
At the core of this teaching, Jesus is reminding us that:
Sincerity + humility + honesty = effective prayer.
A simple reminder to not do the right thing, for the wrong reasons.