The Third Commandment
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”
Question: How can we get rid of hypocrisy in our prayers, so that they will be worthwhile and not in vain?
Answer: We can start by following the words and example of Christ Jesus, the Master Christian and our Wayshower:
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men . . . But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6)
And Mary Baker Eddy writes:
“If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the
only acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings. While the heart is far from divine Truth and Love, we cannot conceal the ingratitude of barren lives.” (S&H 3-4)
“If we feel the aspiration, humility, gratitude, and love which our words express, — this God accepts; and it is wise not to try to deceive ourselves or others, for ‘there is nothing covered that shall not
be revealed.’” (S&H 8)
Practice: Today, spend time thanking God for all your blessings. Perhaps make a written list and title it: “Gratitude is a Healing Attitude.” Use as a reminder.
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(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
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