40 Days of PRAYER

Dr Jim Brown's TruNorth Devotional
40 Days of PRAYER
Day 15 | PRIVATE PRAYING | Matthew 6:6

Matthew 6:6
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

This verse is part of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” and occurs just before what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Here, Jesus is teaching His listeners about prayer. The context is that the Pharisees used to pray elaborate prayers for everyone to hear and thus know how “great” they were. Part of what that did was make the “regular guy or gal on the street” feel utterly inadequate in praying to God.

I suppose that the “Amazing Pharisees” were looking to be admired for their “spiritual walk and talk” but primarily for their “Amazing Prayers.” This might have implied, “Don’t try this at home folks but leave praying to the professionals.”

It’s clear that Jesus disapproved of this, but instead was interested in getting the ordinary person to learn to pray.  And so as not to get them mixed up with the Pharisees, Jesus told them to “go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.”  He was also teaching that the simple, sincere prayer is what the Father desires to hear.

This doesn’t mean there is not a place for public praying… there is.  But the Pharisees must have been making it a stumbling block for the “regular people” to pray to God independently. They must have been implying, “I’ll pray for you, I know how and God listens to me.”

Jesus teaches that the Father really wants to hear from everyone and rewards those simple, sincere, private prayers.

Prayer: LORD, I am so glad I don’t have to be a professional in my praying.  I’ll just continue to talk to you in my own words and in private about my life and then listen for You to guide and teach me.  Amen.