KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 23:14. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore, ye shall receive the greater damnation.
The Pharisees according to the Lord took advantage of the poor and helpless widows. They were the teachers of the law and so the widows were subject to them as they were seeking to please God. The scribes and Pharisees took advantage of them and extort their money and property. Such acts go on, even in these times. The Lord warned that anyone who takes advantage of a widow shall be in danger of God’s judgement. Exodus 22:24
Dear child of God, do not use any means to deceive and take monies from anyone. A lady asked a pastor to pray over some money or her capital for business. This man took the money to pray over it and bring it back after some days. The amount given to him, had been drastically slashed after it was brought to this poor woman. Such stories keep going on. Dear one, what happened to the love our Lord commanded us to express towards one another? John 13:34″. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” Love for all is the first fruit of one’s salvation. The absence of it means there has not been a real power of transformation.
The Lord also said, these scribes and Pharisees make very long prayers in public to attract attention. Prayer should never be an act to show off. It is communicating with the father as thanksgiving, praise or requesting for some answer to an issue. Long prayers are basically done in the closet. It can also be done in a group prayer meeting. When one prays for a very long time in public, it becomes a bit of a challenge to others who may be in a hurry to attend to some duty elsewhere. Some Bible commentaries say the Pharisees could pray as long as ‘three hours’.
THOUGHT: A TRUE LEADER STANDS UP FOR THE VULNERABLE
Job 22:9 KJV “Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.”
Exodus 22:22 -24 KJV” Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.”