Praying Through the Bible #120
TEXT: Matthew 6:1-8
So far in this series, we have looked at four principles that Jesus taught regarding prayer:
1. Prayer should be a regular, everyday activity.
2. Prayer ought not to be done for the purpose of being seen by others.
3. Those who pray in a hypocritical manner -- that is to be seen by men -- will get their reward: they will be heard by men, and receive their praise from men, but they will not have their prayers answered by God.
4. Prayer ought to be carried out faithfully in private before God alone.
Today, we are going to look at the "why" behind that last principle. Why ought we to be committed to praying in secret with the intent of being seen and heard by God alone? Jesus Christ tells us why in the latter part of verse 6: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Now, it seems quite obvious to say that God sees what we are doing in secret. Of course He does. The point for us is: do we really believe that God sees us in secret, and that He is listening to our prayers offered in secret? Secret prayer is a matter of faith. If we are to be consistent and faithful in prayer, we must really believe that God sees us and hears us while we pray.
Another thing we must remember is that we are praying to God who is invisible. Jesus points this out by saying that the Father not only sees us in secret, but that He is "in secret" as well. The Pulpit Commentary states, "The thought here may be partly that to be unseen of men is a help to communion with Him who is also unseen by them, but especially that the manner of our actions ought to resemble that of our Father's, who is himself unseen and works unseen."
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