Thursday, May 9, 2019
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. 6 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.
Does this mean we should never pray aloud, or pray in public? Are we only to pray by ourselves in a private place?
I appreciate that we have a person who volunteers every Sunday to pray for the church, for the message, for individuals, for what the Holy Spirit inspires them to pray for. This is going on during the service. Their name is mentioned in the bulletin, but we don’t hear them, we may not even know if they’re in the sanctuary, choir loft, the office, or in the basement. This is an individual act of prayer.
I appreciate opportunities to pray aloud for someone who’s sick, to lay hands upon them and bless and anoint them. To take an active role in vocalizing the need for healing or help in troubles. I believe that fiving voice to prayer helps focus others and gives strength to the individual and builds their faith. This is a more public act of prayer.
Both are valid and both serve a purpose, but Jesus wasn’t really talking about praying aloud or praying silently, He was talking about the purpose and motive of someone who prays. The motive of our prayer is to converse with God, to tell Him our needs, our wants, our joys, our concerns, our sorrows whether anyone else hears us or not. And He will meet with us in our time of prayer, strengthen us, answer prayers, and keep us in fellowship with Him.
PRAYER: Psalm 106
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can declare all His praise? Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times! Remember me, O LORD, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your salvation, That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones.