Pray in secret
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:6
Apparently, in Jesus’s day, the religious leaders liked to get attention by praying loud and long, but Jesus said that is not an effective way so pray. He tells us to go to a quiet place and pray in secret, not out on the streets to show how spiritual you are. He also tell us not to repeat the same things over and over again or use a lot of words.
Then Jesus gives us a format of praying. A structure and order of how to have a fruitful prayer life. Ironically, today, this prayer is repeated over and over even after Jesus said vain repetition is not the way to pray.
So He breaks praying down into sections in verses 9-13. He said, pray in this way/manner:
Start with praise and worship: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed is Your name
Pray for God’s will: Your kingdom come. Your will be done in the earth just as it is in heaven.
God’s provision: Give us today and the “bread” we need today.
Receive and give forgiveness: forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Deliverance from the enemy: do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.
End with thanksgiving: Yours is the kingdom and power and glory forever.
Using this format, our prayers can look something like this:
Precious Heavenly Father, Holy and Wonderful is Your name (Psalms 139:14. Thank you for bringing Your kingdom to this world through doing your will here today. Thank you for providing all that we need today to live life abundantly as you have planned (John 10:10). For your forgiveness in Christ Jesus our Savior and Empowering me to extend that forgiveness to those who hurt or offend me (Eph. 4:32). Keep me far from temptation and deliver me from any traps the enemy tries to catch me in (1 Cor. 10:13). Because this is Your world and kingdom, Thank You for having all the power and glory for all eternity! Amen
Of course, your prayer will not be just like that, but you pray from your heart in the areas Jesus highlighted. That doesn’t mean those are the only areas you pray about. We bring all things to our Heavenly Father to receive His wisdom and instruction.
Today I want to encourage you to spend some time praying in your secret place. Set aside special quiet time to talk to your loving Father. Take time to listen to the soft words He whispers to your heart. Then write down those things so you can be praying oven them in the coming days. Make your time with God the most precious time of each day and He will see you in secret, but your reward will be open for all to see the goodness of God’s love working in your everyday life.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 6:5-15
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.