Religious Pride and Deception 37

Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. 11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.

Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.

The pride of man in the things of nature is so bad that man is blinded in coming to religion and thinking that he can find ways to please God and work for his own salvation. Man will use the things that God has set forth to be used as a way of seeking Him and His glory. Past posts have looked at Scripture and how a proud heart uses Scripture for self and the exaltation of self, but now we will turn to prayer and try to look at how man uses prayer with wicked intents and motivations rather than as ways to seek God.

The Lord’s Prayer (as set out in Matthew 6) teaches us that we are to come to the Lord and our very first petition is for His name to be hallowed. In light of the Great Commandment to love God with all of our being, we should see that we are to love God with all of our being in prayer and seek with the love of our heart for His name to be hallowed and glorified. But instead, what do we see or hear?

We see others and hear ourselves praying (so to speak) for self-centered things rather than God-centered things.
We see others and hear ourselves seeking the things of the world.
We see others and hear ourselves praying out of love for self.
We see others and hear ourselves praying in a way to obtain honor and glory for self.
We see others and hear ourselves praying in a way to get people to admire us for how we pray.
We see others and hear ourselves praying in a way to obtain righteousness before God.
We see others and hear ourselves praying for ourselves rather than for His glory and honor.
We see others and hear ourselves seeking things from Him rather than Himself.
We see others and hear ourselves praying in way as if from a list rather than the heart.
We see others and hear ourselves praying in a way where our heart is far removed from Him
We see others and hear ourselves seeking things for others that are from the world rather than what is truly good.
We see others and hear ourselves seeking for others to be physically healed rather than spiritually strengthened.
We see others and hear ourselves seeking financially blessings far more (if at all) than spiritual blessings.
We see others and hear ourselves seeking ourselves rather than God.
We see others and hear ourselves praying as if teaching God rather than seeking Him to teach us.
We see others and hear ourselves praying as if instructing God how to act rather than asking Him for grace.
We see others and hear ourselves praying as if God needs us rather than our utter need of Him.
We see others and hear ourselves praying as if salvation depended on man’s decision rather than God’s grace.
We see others and hear ourselves praying as if sanctification depended on us rather than on God.
We see others and hear ourselves praying as if the well-being of the church depended on things rather than God.

If the Scriptures are extremely clear (and they are) that true prayer is to seek God and His glory, then what is it when man seeks himself, the things of self, religious honor, and myriads of other things rather than God? Our prayers (so-called) demonstrate proud hearts. Our prayers put our self-seeking on display in ways nothing else will. We know the real desires of our hearts, if we take the time to look, despite the words of our lips. Do we really think that God cannot see our pride when we desire something in our hearts and yet say right words toward Him?

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