Back to Praise Thursday here on the Drive!
This week we talked about praying in secret versus praying for show.
Scripture reveals that Jesus prayed in secret or alone, but in contrast, the religious leaders most always prayed in public because they wanted to impress people and convince them that they were holy, spiritual, giants.
5 “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.”
It’s a great thing to feel loved and respected, but we have to keep in mind that when we’re serving God, we have to have an attitude of humility and be pointing everything back to Him.Praying in public isn’t a bad thing, and we see examples of people praying in public in the bible (Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and even Jesus prayed in public). They were leading others to focus on God, not to impress or fish for praise. And they also weren’t afraid to pray in public.
We must remember that God created us and He owns us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. His opinion is the only one that matters, and seeking Him above all else should be our number one priority and be a motive in our life. We must crucify any pride whenever we pray. Hypocrisy must go, fear of man must go. Leading others in prayer is a serious responsibility that’s never meant to spotlight the person praying, but to focus on God alone.
Jesus’ statement, “When you pray…” implies that your default daily prayer life should be to, “go into your private 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 6:6)
Anyone praying for show already has the only reward they will ever get. Whatever feeble notoriety you get is the only reward. It’s not blessings or provisions from God.
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 16:5)
“These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)
Secret prayer allows you to remove distractions and put the attention on adoring God.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
The father sees you in the secret place, and He rewards you for it. If the Son of God primarily sought His Father in secret, and commanded us to do it, why shouldn’t we? Our answer exposes our hearts.
Even if we pray in secret, then go brag about it our pride is exposed. Your true heart is best exposed in secret. The secret you is the real you. It’s what you think when no-one knows, or hears. It’s what you do when no-one sees.
“As he thinks in his heart, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7
That’s why seeking God in private is so powerful. It tests us and tells on us.
Getting alone with God is a great way to choose Him above everyone and everything else. When we give Him our full attention, to love Him, to worship Him, to read His word, to listen and obey Him- He’s pleased and honored.
The secret to your success will come from your secret place and the secret to your failure will come from your failure in the secret place. So go there. Abide there. Escape there. Worship there. Pray there. And keep it a secret.
Oh Lord, show me why I pass up so many opportunities to get alone with You. Help me realize my time with You in quiet is priceless. It’s where I can hear from You best, be the most honest before You, and enjoy the most blessings of Your presence and rewards. Thank you, Lord, for choosing to be so near to me, and for inviting me to spend time alone with you, just the two of us. Help me to die to my pride and then delight in spending time alone with You.
Thanks for listening!