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Pray with Modesty and Discipline [Awakening Faith]
Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:23)
Our speech and petitions should be disciplined when we pray and done with quietness and modesty, for we are standing in God’s sight. We must please God’s eyes with the movements of our body, and his ears with the way we use our voices. For just as a shameless person will be noisy with his or her cries, it is fitting for the modest to pray in a moderate way.
Furthermore, the Lord has taught us to pray in secret, in hidden and remote places, in our own bedrooms; this is most proper for the faithful since it shows us that God is everywhere and hears and sees everything, and the fullness of his majesty is present even in hidden and secret places, as it is written: “I am a God close at hand and not a God far off. If a man hides himself in secret places, will I not see him? Do I not fill the whole of heaven and earth?” (Jer. 23:23 – 24).
When we meet together for worship and celebrate with God’s priest, we should remember our modesty and discipline; we should not broadcast our prayers at the top of our lungs, nor blab a petition with undisciplined long-windedness. After all, God does not listen to the voice but to the heart and should not be pestered by our voices if he sees our thoughts, which the Lord proves when he says, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” (Matt. 9:4).
Cyprian of Carthage
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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