“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. 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.”
Jesus is giving us a very important principle of prayer. It needs to start personally and privately to avoid hypocrisy. The religious leaders wanted more than to be observed; they wanted to be applauded. Not only to inform the onlookers but to impress. When you hear someone praying for their food from across the restaurant that may be the end of their reward.
We need to develop and exercise our prayer lives in private, where only the Father hears, as did Jesus, and Elijah, and Daniel just to name a few. Then our intimate conversations with God can humbly flourish into our public prayers without pretense or “hypocrisy.” It is wrong to pray in public if we don’t pray in private.
Behind closed doors,
Pastor Gerard Deleeuw