Matthew 6:5-8

Jesus said: “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. 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

One day the apostles went to Jesus, asking him to teach them how to pray. They had undoubtedly been taught several ways of praying, just like we have, but they must have noticed that Jesus prayed very differently from them. Although he would come to the temple, he would often disappear for long periods into the desert or up the mountain to commune with God. So, they were naturally curious.

So Jesus taught them: “When you pray,” he said, “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. What is he saying? He is saying that when we pray, we must go to a quiet place, away from the world, and spend time with our Father *alone*. Why?

One, the need for pretense ceases. When praying before an audience, there tends to be a certain element of show that creeps in. When we are alone with God, there is no point in any show because God knows everything, and he will know if we are faking it. Two, relationships are built in private. It is true with people, and it is true with God. If we really want to really get to know God, we need to spend time alone with him.

And what do we do when we are alone with him? Jesus again teaches: “When you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” He is essentially telling us to zip up and stop telling God what he needs to do. God already knows! What then? We need to listen to what God tells us we need to do!

During this quiet time with God, we can learn to hear his voice and know his heart, and when we do, it will change the way we pray — and live — forever.

May the Spirit be with you.

More in this category: « Matthew 5:43-48 Matthew 6:9-13 »
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:25-26
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:25-26
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, Read More
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:20-24
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:20-24
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, Read More
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:16-19
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:16-19
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, Read More
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:7-15
The Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha — Matthew 11:7-15
Read and reflect on the gospels with Aneel Aranha — one little bite at a time. To receive these via WhatsApp, please message "subscribe" to +91 93214 56817. For other great resources by Aneel Aranha, Read More

Load More