Scripture of the Day:
“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.”
Do Not Pray to Be Seen Praying
These verses in Matthew chapter 6 are talking about doing things for immediate rewards. Recognition. Public recognition like “Oh, he or she is such a saint,” type of recognition. Later, in verses 19-20, Jesus teaches us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
We are not to do things for earthly rewards or treasures—getting immediate results from our actions. Instead, we should do things for Christ and lay up treasures in heaven. We may not get results right away, but everything good done for Christ will eventually be rewarded. Should we be satisfied with earthly rewards, or should we desire rewards in heaven for the cause of Christ?
Now let us apply this principle to what Jesus said about prayer. Should we pray to be seen and praised by people who will be amazed at how “spiritual” we sound?
Or should we pray to praise God and let our requests be known? Obviously, praying for the sake of being seen by others focuses on earthly rewards.
Jesus is not saying if we should pray in public or not. He is saying we need to understand the reason we are praying. Is it to get results or is it to be seen? When Jesus told His disciples to pray privately, He was emphasizing the need to pray when nobody else even knows we are praying.
Why would someone do that?
Because they are spending quality time, alone, with the Creator of the Universe. Who just happens to be our Heavenly Father. Do you think God cherishes that time with His children?
Imagine if your child would only honor you and talk nice to you when you were out in public or you had company over…the rest of the time, they either demanded stuff from you or ignored you altogether. How would that make you feel?
But, if your child truly honored you, if your child truly spent time with you when they could be doing other things – not to get something, but just to be in your presence…how would that make you feel? Good, right?
And then, if one day, your child came to you and said, “I really need your help with this…” and laid out a problem they were having – would you move to help them? Immediately? Of course you would…
But, if your child was one that neglected you, abused you, ridiculed you, except when they could be observed by others and everyone thought they were the best kid in town…they are fooling everyone… and then the kid comes in and say, “Hey, I need your help with this. Give me, give me, give me, give me…”
The first couple of times, you might help them. But with no change in their attitude, there will come a time when the answer is “NO.”
Then, the true colors of the child come out!
“You don’t love me? I hate you! Etc. etc.” Right?
So, if that is how YOU are – imagine how God is feeling when His kids treat Him the same way. That is what Jesus is saying here… SPEND TIME WITH GOD ALONE. With nobody else around. Not to pester Him and beg Him for STUFF…but just to be in His Presence. Do it when nobody else is around.
Then, when there is a need – He will reward you and will do so OPENLY. That means you really do not even need to ask. He knows your needs before you ask Him, scripture says. And when He blesses you openly like that, then others will see it and ask you, “WOW – That was a big blessing” and you will respond with,
“My God blesses me…” It is a testimony to your relationship with God! Amen!
I want to pray with you right now… Let’s pray for forgiveness for neglecting our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father, and for His Wisdom in how to find more time in our busy schedules to spend more time in fellowship in His presence. Amen…
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Until next time, this is Pastor Bob Thibodeau reminding you from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 in the Living Bible to “Always Keep on Praying!” Be blessed in all that you do!
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