Thursday, December 2, 2021
Pray with Simplicity
5 “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for fifteen minutes of fame! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
6 “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
-Matthew 6:5-6 The Message
Verse 5: “And when you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites, for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they will be seen by people. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Verse 6: But as for you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Verses 5-6 studies: Religious leaders and people wanted to be seen as “holy.” One way to get people’s attention is public prayer. But, of course, Jesus saw through their self-righteous act. Jesus taught that the essence of prayer is not a general style but private communication with God. There is a place for public prayer. But when you pray just for others to notice, you show that your real audience is not God.
Father, in this short study of doing prayer the right way, we can see those who like the attention of prayer to make themselves famous. I pray we don’t use the public platform as the primary source. It’s one thing to pray in public, but another to pray in public for attention. In Jesus’ name. Amen.