Redeem the Commute is not just about courses – it’s about being part of a community of people being challenged to live differently by following Jesus.  We posted fresh daily challenges from 2012 to 2016 that followed a daily and weekly rhythm:

  • Mondays: A New Idea
  • Tuesdays: Study It
  • Wednesdays: Change our Thinking
  • Thursdays: Act on It
  • Fridays: Reflect on It
  • Saturdays: Rest
  • Sundays: Community
Start by checking out the daily challenge, and then invite someone else to join  you.  When you’ve been meeting in a group for a little while, register your group here.  You can also discuss the daily challenge here.

Ryan Sim - May 1, 2013

Wednesday - Change It - Pompous Prayer

Sermon on the Mount

Jesus is challenging those who pray in public in order to get ahead, to look religious. He says they got the reward they wanted, immediately. People saw them, were impressed. Done. Problem is, empty reward. What is God's reward for prayer? It's him. A relationship with him. This happens to be what true prayer is about anyway…talking to God…spending time with him. God makes himself, the reward, available to all who will receive him. Closet prayer is like training, shutting out all ulterior motives until we learn to pray for God alone. God is the best spectator for prayer - he sees prayer and motive. Even the worst prayer - God sees the right motive. Even the best prayer - God sees the wrong motive. The word "closet" in this reading is not where someone kept their clothes. It comes from the Greek "tameion" which means storeroom. This suggests there are immediate "treasures" when you pray for God alone. When we pray for God and God alone, we are seeking God, and he is ready and willing to hold up his side of the relationship by giving us what we were seeking. When we pray for others to see, we’re clearly not seeking God but our own benefit, so he gives us that reward we sought, but that's all. If we want applause, he says we can have it. But we're settling for second best. I once got a phone call, informing me that someone was taking Christianity 101 student because he wanted to be baptized in hopes it would helps him immigration case. In the end, I was happy for him to take the course, and would even baptize him if he decided to follow Jesus as his Lord. Those things are highly rewarding in and of themselves! An eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ – nothing is more rewarding. What about the immigration thing? I doubt it would have helped. One might have a case as a persecuted refugee if they were a baptized Christian at home, before coming to Canada. But immigration authorities probably wouldn’t care if he was baptized in Canada last year. If he took my course, and was baptized, all because he wanted to improve his chances at immigration, he would quickly discover it was an empty reward, nowhere near as good as the real reward. We settle for second best sometimes. We pursue rewards in life, on earth, when we could be pursuing rewards in heaven! We can do this with prayer. We say a bunch of things about God, and call it prayer, when we could be talking to God. We say some words we don’t really believe, simply because someone told us we should. Question: Have you ever tried to regularly spend time in prayer alone with God? What did you find easy comfortable, or difficult and uncomfortable about the experience?

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