"Who is even among you who will shut the doors, and you not kindle fire on My altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says Jehovah of Hosts. I will not be pleased with an offering from you", Mal 1:10

There are those who are ashamed to pray and there are such as are too eager to pray. We may despise one and uphold the other, depending towards which we feel alike. When we are likely to think ourselves to be religious examples, we will praise whoever prays as we do, the way we think best especially. If we are ashamed to pray, we will take our stand along with such as are ashamed of God. Nevertheless, I believe both are wrong and both breed the same sin from within: distance from God. Having this sin (which we may regard as a consequence of many others), each fights it his own way, either by hiding or by being unnatural, which is one and the same thing.

We cannot conceive someone living near a Living God and having to scream and be noisy to be heard. If I scream when I call someone, it means such is far away and distant from me and the distance is synonymous to the loudness of the yell - or greater. In fact, people close to God are heard even before they have a chance to utter a word, for the desire itself wanting to become words is promptly heard above (before words and ahead of them) when the heart is clean and pleasant unto God. We find, however, that it is the hypocrites who pray so people may hear them believing prayer must pass the acceptance of people before reaching the Lord, or who pray so they may convince people directing them with words under the the pretext of being speaking to God. Many make such a noisy prayer that makes one wonder if such is trying to convince God, himself or others around. I uphold any prayer that expresses our feelings and desires the best way, but I cannot uphold a feigning prayer at all. There are such people who talk as they feel, but there are such who talk what they have not to feel and try to feel that way, and charge at that which they cannot have in them for some reason. Distinguishing between these two, one may then recall that the best way to achieve an ear from God Himself is to be as we are in front of Him, towards Him alone, whoever hears as we talk to Him.

I heard a story of a certain father who loved to teach his own son through many a device and this son loved it very much. One day this father took his son on an empty coach to church. As the horses were pulling it, the wheels of it would bump on the stones on the way there and ride over the many holes, and it would make it a noisy coach since it was empty. The father made the remark to the son that it was so because the coach had been empty. The next Sunday the father loaded the same coach and went the same way and the way there was smooth and calm. And the father asked the son what he learned from that. The son said: “the empty coach makes a lot of noise!” The father answered him, saying: “Yes, the same will happen to people. Those who are empty are the ones who make more of a noise. Remember that when you pray and talk about God too!”

Christian, can you conceive a prayer being something which God despises? It should not be, but man became so hypocritical because of the love breeding towards his own sin while he prays instead of changing his heart, choosing rather to change God by words. Today, as I had the chance to read these words again, my heart trembled. It says here (it states in fact) that one may kindle a fire in vain right upon a Living God’s altar. One may pray in vain, one’s words may be like those of the gentiles in a dead altar, gentiles who believe they are heard by talking too much, to right or too wrong perhaps.

One of the many marks of these beasts who pray to mock God is that they sooner or later will come back to accuse God, blaming Him for whatever they have not received, having themselves excused that way. This is surely one of the marks of the beast: useless, mocking prayers unto God. May every Christian in this world of ours make sure all his words to God and man mean just what they say as they say. Can God hear something when the desire is something else? He will not hear wrong desires, but, He will not hear the wrong words either, nor the wrong heart. He will hear a wordless speech unto Him, but not a wrong, deceitful word of speech at all.

Prostitutes have a body made in God’s own image which they defile in open daylight; the devil uses them every single moment to make a mockery on God openly. The same happens through drunkards and smokers who respect very little of whatever God has made them to be. It is a motive of great delight and mockery to the devil when he manages to use whatever God has created to blackmail God into delaying His wrath or His coming, like putting men as a smoke under His nose to tempt Him. It is, therefore, only to be expected that the devil will use prayers to achieve that same thing, for it is God's nature to save - and so is ours, even when we pray wrong.

We have the promise, however, that every single word we may pray to God will sooner or later have a response. The incense the angels poured down in front of God’s throne accumulated for thousands of years. We know that most prayers are heard instantly though. If we regard the words of the Lord Jesus as true, we will believe every single word of ours to Him will promptly be heard. But, we read that for that to happen, the words of God have to find ways to be able to remain within us as well, for good. Our hearts have to be of the same constant fiber as the word of God is or it will not remain there at all. A heart to be eternal and constant so as to lodge Words which will remain forever, has to be clean or it will not be constant and eternal at all, I mean, without ups and downs. We read in James that an inconsistent (un-eternal) person is an unbelieving one and vice-versa. We read in Timothy that an unsound conscience drives the faith to shipwreck. If we put two and two together, we may realize why many a prayer is never heard above. When they are not heard and still offered, they are used to make God angry at us if they are uttered, somehow, to cause the devil to laugh at God right inside the Temple where once we heard people were selling and buying and now are somewhat praying and selling their lives to hell still. Amen.

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José Mateus