Good morning! When you pray, say what you mean to say and pray what you mean to pray. While public prayer have differing functions, they are grounded in praying to God, not others. In Matthew 6:5, Jesus warned his listeners to “not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.” We must pray in a way that isn’t trying to impress others as to how religious we are or what kind of theological dexterity we have.
The next verse clarifies: “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). So pray what you mean to pray, knowing full well that your Father knows your needs.
Our prayers are to be seen and heard by God first and foremost. If you wish to be seen and heard by others, you have received your reward (6:5b).
What is your secret prayer life like? Do you pray more in public than you do in “your room”?
Spurgeon was asked, “What is more important: Prayer or Reading the Bible?” He asked in return, “What is more important: breathing in or breathing out?”
Christ opened the way to heaven for the believer (John 14:6; Hebrews 4:14-16). Let’s go there through prayer. Say what you need to say–pray what you need to pray in full confidence in Him, not in the reaction of others.
Matthew Perry, Ph.D. serves as Lead Pastor of Arapahoe Road Baptist Church in Centennial, CO.