And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are…
As, in those duties of religion which take the shape of charitable action towards man, the first law of all is that they be rendered with purity of motive and with directness of aim, free from self-consciousness and free from consciousness, either morbid or calculated upon, of the gaze of others, so certainly in that duty (identical at the same time with highest privilege) which marks the intelligent personal approach of men to God, viz. their approach in prayer, is it necessary -
I. THAT IT BE PERFORMED WITHOUT ANY OSTENTATION OF SANCTITY BEFORE MEN.
II. THAT IT BE ADDRESSED TO GOD WITH UNDIVIDED HOMAGE, UNDISTRACTED THOUGHT.
III. THAT IT CONSIST OF PETITIONS OF KNOWN AND DISTINCT MEANING, NOT VAGUE, NOT REPETITIOUS, NOT MULTIPLIED FOR MUCH SPEAKING'S SAKE ONLY.
IV. THAT WE REMEMBER THAT IT IS NOT EITHER TO TELL GOD WHAT HE DOES NOT ALREADY KNOW, OR TO DICTATE OR SUGGEST TO HIM WHAT TO DO OR WHAT TO GIVE; BUT TO CONFESS TO HIM THAT WE DO KNOW AND FEEL OUR OWN NEEDS, TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE KNOW HE ONLY CAN SUPPLY THEM, AND TO SUBMIT THE TIME AND THE CHOICE OF THE WAY TO DO SO, TO HIM AND HIS ALL-SOVEREIGN WISDOM. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
WEB: "When you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Most certainly, I tell you, they have received their reward.