“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him.”
Matthew 6:7-8 NLT
NOTE: It may seem strange to jump in with these verses today after I’ve been away from writing for so long. But in the past month, I’ve learned to practice these truths…so my sharing may be a little longer today!
When Jesus talked about babbling, He meant don’t repeat yourself over and over, don’t chatter in endless, meaningless words. That’s how we speak to someone who’s unfamiliar—we don’t know what to say, so we babble on and on! BUT our Father is familiar—He knows exactly what you need!
This past month, my familiar Father has walked with me through the “valley of the shadow of death!” No, I did not lose a loved one, nor did I come close to my own physical death. But when doctors discovered I have multiple spine issues impinging on several nerves that send excruciating pain down every area of my leg, this can’t-sit-still-very-long woman wondered if she’d EVER regain mobility. Walking outside in God’s creation is life to me, so I have habitually thanked God for healthy legs! But these last weeks when I could not even take one step without debilitating pain, the active life I have known all these years seemed to be dying.
But I am so grateful that in my valley, I did not have to babble to an unfamiliar God, because Jesus came to our world to make God familiar! All through His teaching, Jesus called God, Father! And He didn’t just say My Father—Jesus included you and me. By addressing God as Our Father and Your Father, Jesus extended the level of relationship to a personal, intimate God who is with me on the mountain AND in the valley!
When Jesus said don’t babble on and on as people of other religions, He was speaking of people for whom this God of relationship was unfamiliar. That’s why they babbled TO God instead of having conversation WITH God.
But like me, remember you too have a Father. So, when the days in your valley seem endless, you need not babble TO God as if He’s unfamiliar! Instead, enjoy precious conversation WITH Him! After all, He is YOUR Father Who knows exactly what you need, even before you ask!
“The more familiar Our Father becomes, the less we will babble!”