Pray Secretly

Series: MasterClass | Week 6: Teach Us to Pray

Day One Matthew 6:5-6

5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:5-6 (NLT)

Learn From the Word
Note that Jesus says, “When you pray” not, “If you pray.” Jesus assumes His disciples give with a generous heart and He also assumes they pray. He follows the same teaching format here that He did when teaching the right way to give – He points out the kind of hypocritical example they are not to follow and then explains how to practice the spiritual discipline in a way that pleases God. Jesus isn’t condemning public prayer; that would be contradictory to other Scripture. Instead, He’s showing us how to pray with a heart that desires to know our heavenly Father more than to be recognized.

Put It Into Practice
How would you describe your prayer life? Could you use the same words Pastor Aaron used when he described the way many of us give – spontaneous, sporadic, and spare? If so, take some time with God right now to come up with a new plan of action. Consider taking one step that will help you to consistently connect with your Father. Jesus mentions two – find a place and do it privately. Many find help by praying with a pen (writing it out), a prayer partner, or even by consistently reading and praying the prayers others have written down for us in places like the Psalms or other books of prayers. Share with a trusted friend your new plan of action or step. Ask God for His help to follow through.

For Families with Kids at Home
Is the only time your kids pray when they’re prompted by you? Encourage them that while some prayer is meant to be prayed as a group, the most important prayers are the ones that are just between them and God. Prayer is simply having a conversation with God, and that can happen anytime, anywhere!