It's not easy being a hypocrite.
You’re always working on two levels, keeping things to yourself while presenting another image to the world. And that’s hard. It takes a pretty smart person to pull this off. Shallow lazy people can be a lot of things, but not a successful Pharisee.
Scripture says “a double-minded person is unstable in all his ways; he should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” That’s James 1:7-8. We cite it here for two reasons. First, to say how tough our calling is, and second, to remind ourselves that being hypocrites we’re not expecting to receive anything from the Lord for our prayers. That’s not the point.
Okay? Got that? For a hypocritical Pharisee, prayer is about a lot of things, but touching the Heavenly Father with our actual needs is not one of them.
Now, that being said…
Your assignment as a hypocrite will cover a lot of areas–your home life where you say one thing and do another, your church life where you pretend to love the Lord while secretly maneuvering and conniving, your stewardship where you claim to give more than you do and look for ways to profit from your spirituality, and of course, your prayer life which will be groomed for public consumption but devoid of anything vital and sincere. But today, let’s zoom in.
For the moment, let’s focus on prayer. Praying like a hypocrite–the Pharisaical model–is not for the weak of heart. Only the top 10 percent of the class will be able to meet the stringent requirements. Consider, for example…
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