Many parts of the world have very large storms known as hurricanes or tsunamis. These storms begin out over the ocean and gather up a lot of water. They have very strong winds that can blow roofs off houses. When the storm comes over land, it rains very hard. The strong winds cause the ocean tide to be much higher than normal. So, the waves go much further onto land than normal. Because of the higher tides and the large amount of rain, there is a lot of flooding.
The high waves beat on the houses that are built close to the beach. These waves also beat on the sandy beaches. The sand is washed away and sometimes a beach will be as much as ten feet lower than it used to be. Houses that are built on the sand will wash away.
Today many homes that are built close to the beach are specially built so that they will not wash away. Deep holes are dug into the sand until hard rock is found. Then pillars are put on this rock to support the houses. If all of the sand is washed away, the house will stay where it is because it is supported by rock.
God says that our lives can be like building a house on sand or on rock. If we learn what God wants us to do and then do it, he says it is like building our house on rock. But if we learn what to do and do not do it, then it is like having our house built on sand (Matthew 7:24-27).
If we do not have the wisdom from God, then we will be washed away spiritually when the storms of life come upon us. But if we have the wisdom from God, then when the storms of life come along we will be able to continue standing.
Study your Bible. Learn what God wants you to do -- and then do it. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
At the time Christ lived, the Greeks believed in many gods. They thought that these gods were not interested in man. They believed their gods were too busy with their own interests and problems. Therefore, the Greeks would pray the same thing over and over and over. They thought the gods would get tired of hearing their prayers and would finally give them what they wanted just to get rid of them.
The Hindus believe saying the name of a god is worship. And they believe saying the name takes away sin. So they will repeat saying the names of god over and over and over, thinking this will take away all of their sins.
God said we are not to be like those who believe in such things (Matthew 6:7-8). When we pray we are not to use vain repetitions. The word 'vain' means empty or useless. For the Greeks, the repetitions were vain because they did not think that their gods were really interested in helping them. For the Hindus, the repetitions were vain because they thought that just saying a name would get rid of their sins. And for both of them, the repetitions were vain because they were not praying to the One True God.
When we pray, we know that God cares about us. He knows what we need. He loves us and wants the best for us. And we know if we are living right according to his law, we can have forgiveness of our sins if we ask him for such.
Study the Bible. Learn what God wants you to do. Pray to God with confidence. Never use vain repetitions.