Read: Matthew 6:5-15
Pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (v. 6)
There are public rewards, and there are private ones. It’s easy to want and chase the former, and to allow their glory to be the only glory we seek. How different to make a steady diet of the glory being with God in secret brings. Being in the presence of God is itself a reward, although I don’t know how often we think about it. But what could be more rewarding than time alone with the King of the universe, his Son, or his Holy Spirit?
Teaching his followers to pray privately, Jesus said that praying to be seen by others, perhaps even as holy, is the only reward the one who seeks such attention will get. Furthermore, he called these folks “hypocrites” (v. 5). Pretty strong language, and a pretty good reason to think about practicing prayer in private more often than standing on a street corner (or any other public place). By contrast, Jesus made a promise that God rewards those who seek private audience.
D. L. Moody famously said, “Character is what you are in the dark”—what you do when no human is there to watch or hear or admire. Only God knows what goes on in the prayer closet, so only God can reward it. And he will, promises Jesus. —Amy Clemens
As you pray, ask God for the desire to nurture secret life with him, to love and seek private rewards from the prayer closet rather than public ones.
About the Author
With a bachelors in journalism from Texas Tech University and a masters from Western Theological Seminary, Amy Clemens enjoys all things writing, particularly about the life of faith. She is blessed with a family that includes husband Fred, five children, and five grandchildren.
Amy has just published her first book, "Walking When You'd Rather Fly: Meditations on Faith After the Fall," which weaves her journey from childhood abuse toward healing and spiritual growth with a practical theology for the big story of God. You can find out more about the book and author at walkingwhenyoudratherfly.com.