We all want them. But do we want the right ones, from the right people?
Jesus has been asked by his disciples for lessons on prayer. There is a bit of irony in their request. The Jewish people prayed…a lot!
But what were they missing? What was Jesus directing them to see?
Jesus calls them to remember what they already know: the commandments. The first commandment addresses their need to put God first…and only.
If the prayers of the people are intended to impress others with the level or depth of their spirituality, then they are not directing their prayers to the Great I Am. Are the ones they are trying to impress going to be able to answer their prayers, meet their needs?
What reward is there in that kind of praying? If we wow others with the wordiness and theological prowess of our prayers, then we have received the reward we sought: we made an impression.
But our needs remain unmet.
Jesus tells them about making sure their relationship with God is first, and when they do the rewards: what they need will come.
Now that’s a reward system I can support!