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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: What Are Some of the Things We Should Not Do with Prayer?

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Don Stewart
Certain prayer practices that the Bible says we are not to participate. They include:

Endless Repetition

Jesus told us not to use endless repetition in our prayers:

But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words (Matthew 6:7).

Public Spectacle

When we pray we should not do it in such a manner to attract attention to ourselves.

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of others. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward (Matthew 6:5).


We should not have a proud or demanding attitude when we pray:

Two men went up to the synagogue to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself. 'God I thank You that I am not like other people-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all I possess' (Luke 18:10-12).


Unbelief is another thing that hinders our prayers. When we pray we should pray in faith that God will answer our prayers because He has promised to do just that. James said:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let them ask of God, who gives to all people generously and without reproach, and it will be given to them. But let them ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that person expect that they will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded person, unstable in all their ways (James 1:6-8).

This does not mean the answer will be yes. As we have observed, God answers prayers by saying either yes, no, or wait.

Don't Ask God To Do Something You Could Do Yourself

We should never ask God in prayer to do something we ourselves are able to do. Prayer is asking God to work.

Don't Ask God For Something Sinful

When we pray we should never ask God for something that we know is a sin. This will guarantee the answer to be no.


Prayer should be a special personal communication between the believer and God. There are certain practices that the believer should not be engaged in when it comes to prayer.
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