Tuesdays I plant a seed for the coming Sunday message. Starting Sunday I will begin a series which draws inspiration from Bob Hostetler’s book, The Red Letter Prayer Life, 17 Words From Jesus To Inspire Practical, Purposeful, Powerful Prayer.
This week’s text is Jesus’ words on prayer after watching the self-absorbed Pharisees who prayed publically to get attention:
“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. 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 (Matthew 6:5-6, NIV).”
Is Jesus saying we are only to pray in private? I don’t think so.
I believe Jesus is teaching his followers that until they work on their relationship with God through private prayer, their public prayer will only look like the performance of the Pharisees.
So when you pray, get alone with God and talk to him…really talk with him…and don’t perform.