The noon day devil of the Christian life is the temptation to lose the inner self while preserving the shell of edifying behaviour. Suddenly I discover that I am ministering to AIDS victims to enhance my resume. I find I renounced ice cream for Lent to lose five excess pounds. I drop hints about the absolute priority of meditation and contemplation to create the impression that I am a man of prayer. At some unremembered moment I have lost the connection between internal purity of heart and external works of piety. In the most humiliating sense of the word, I have become a legalist. I have fallen victim to what T. S. Elliot calls the greatest sin: to do the right thing for the wrong reason. “Beware of the Scribes…who devour widows houses and for a pretence make long prayers” (Mark 12:38, 40). Jesus did not have a naive outlook on prayer. He knew it could be counterfeited by spiritual narcissism, hypocrisy, wordiness, and sensationalism. The noon day devil is not intimidated by the boundaries of time.