Matthew 6:6 “But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
This instruction from Jesus has always intrigued me. I think about all the times my family gets together on holidays or birthdays and the prayers that have been lifted over those meals. I can hear the voices of family members saying “you should pray, you do a much better job than I do.” I have yet to be a liturgist in my church; partly because I am such an introvert at heart the desire to get up there and speak in front of the congregation is not very strong. Also the prayers they read are fluid and deep. I love listening to those words with my heart instead of reading them with my eyes and mouth. I see people, on occasion, praying over their meals at restaurants. I used to think that was awkward or strange but as I grow in my faith I think I feel like I am intruding in their prayer if I don’t grant their privacy, yet if they are praying in public do they desire privacy? I think the message Jesus was giving here is this: when we pray, we need to seek God and not the accolades of other people. When we pray in public we risk receiving praise from others. The purpose of prayer is to commune with God. Now I need to go pray about this more...
I love our private times of prayer. Help me teach my children how to pray as you taught me. Help us all keep prayer in our hearts and love in our hands as we seek to serve you. Amen.