"When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites. The hypocrites love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray loudly. They want people to see them pray. I tell you the truth. They already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father. He is there in that secret place. Your Father can see the things that are done in secret. And he will reward you."
— Matthew 6:5-6 NLT
In almost every place you go and visit with Christians, there is a deep, underlying conviction: Our walk with the Lord, our life of discipleship, our power over sin, and our love for God would all be greatly enhanced with more time in prayer.
Without realizing it, a culture obsessed with privacy finds its most intimate and private gift, prayer, lived out in public more than in private. Prayer is about developing a relationship and dependency upon God as Father, not about being seen. Prayer is about seeking God, his will, and his grace, not about gaining a reputation or a set of admirers. Jesus is reminding us that God has sent us an invitation to visit with him in prayer. To give up that for the approval of the crowd is not only shameful, Jesus says it's damning.
Abba Father, I want to know you and experience your attending presence. Forgive me for the times I have prayed in ways that drew attention to me, or to my "piety," instead of focusing on my relationship with you. Time in your presence is such a gift! Thank you. I find it unfathomable that you, the King of Ages and Creator of the World, long for me to come into your presence. Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for giving me such an awesome gift. Thank you for your Spirit who intercedes for me when I pray. Thank you that I can pray with confidence knowing that I will be heard because of the mighty name of Jesus, through whom I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Rom. 8:26-27
- Mark 14:26
- 2 Pet. 1:3-4
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.