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Text Sermons : Zac Poonen : Pharisees pray long, impressive prayers in public

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"Woe to you, Pharisees, because for a pretence you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation" (Matthew 23:14).

I have observed through the years, that those who pray the longest in public are those who are prayerless in private. They are all Pharisees. Next time you hear a man giving a long oration in public prayer, recognise that he is a Pharisee. In a time of public praise, if the leader asks everyone to limit their praising to one or two minutes each, everyone must do that. But Pharisees will not listen or obey. They feel their prayers must be longer than that of others. The only reason for that is their arrogance, their pride and their fantastically high opinion of themselves!

The Bible commands preachers to "prophesy according to the proportion of their faith" (Romans 12:6). That means that the length of our sermons should be proportionate to the maturity of our life. But 90% of the church-leaders I have met preach long, boring sermons and disobey this command every Sunday. Once again, the only reason for such disobedience is their fantastically high opinion of themselves!

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