5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Prayer is intimate. It is a blessed opportunity to commune with God. We pray not out of duty, but out of a desire to spend time with the God who created us, loves us, and guides us to a richer life in Him. Through prayer, we can listen to and learn from God, and receive peace and comfort through His Spirit. Prayer allows us to tell God the Father our deepest fears, desires and questions.
Prayer is not a show. It is not a chance to show people how holy pious we are. While this may seem obvious, the unfortunate truth is that many of us can’t help but be conscious of others when we pray in groups. Sometimes our prayer is more to be heard than it is to communicate with God.
Jesus did not just teach us how to pray, but he also showed us. He prayed at his baptism (Luke 3:21), after withdrawing from the crowds (Luke 5:16), after healing people (Mark 1:35), before walking on water (Matt 14:23, Mark 6:46, John 6:15), before choosing the Twelve (Luke 6:12), before Peter’s confession (Luke 9:18), at the Transfiguration (Luke 9:29), before teaching his disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1), and on the cross (Mark 15:34). Jesus taught us and showed us that prayer is an indispensable part of our faith.
“…when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Charlie).
Thoughts for the day
- Do you pray out of duty or because out of a desire to spend time with God?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
PRAY FOR THE CHURCH TO CONTINUE TO BRING HOPE As the global church, we have a message of hope that we can share far and wide, no matter what else is happening in our world: “…For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18