Matthew 6: “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.
7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Please let the stock rise higher” was my “prayer-ish” thought. I was trying something new and I wanted to see if it would work. I invested in a “penny” stock to see if I could make some extra cash. I watched the value increase to a point just under my threshold. I figured the value would keep increasing. Suddenly it fell and fell and fell. Weeks later I got a letter stating the stock had no value.
- Sometimes the motive behind my prayer isn’t the best.
- Sometimes the method behind my prayer is loud and boisterous.
- Sometimes the length of my prayer, compared to “that” person, is too long.
Communicating to the GOD of the universe requires thinking sometimes. I mean other times when there is an emergency there may be no time to think. There are other times however that maybe I should stop for a moment and process what I’m about to ask GOD.
- GOD wants me to take prayer seriously.
- GOD wants me to have a habit of praying in secret so HE will reward me, not people.
- GOD wants me to want what HE wants so my prayers can align with HIS will.
Praying to be seen or heard is what GOD seems to be against in this passage. HE sees when I am trying to be the center of attention and rejects the prayer. Since HE wants me to succeed, HE teaches me to pray. HE guides me to acknowledge HIM as supreme, debts, temptation and HIS power to overcome anything.
GOD takes prayer very seriously. Whether eyes open or closed, head up or bowed, GOD takes time to listen to me. HE wants me to pray while walking, driving or in a closet on my knees. GOD listens when I earnestly pray.
- Are you trying to be seen by others when you pray?
- Do you feel you pray “better” than “that” person?
- Will you stop comparing yourself to others or trying to be seen and sincerely pray to the unseen GOD?