“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” — Matthew 6:6 ESV
In Matthew 6 Jesus warns his listeners to beware of doing the right things for the wrong reasons.
Speaking of prayer, he warns against being like the “hypocrites” who “love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others.” These pretenders, Jesus assures us, “have received their reward” and should expect none from God (see Mt. 6:5).
Why will the hypocrites receive no reward from God? Because they have forgotten that the true motive of prayer is to be with our Father.
If we pray, or do any other “spiritual activity”, to win people’s approval and applause, we have missed the point and will not receive the reward of God’s presence because we weren’t even looking for it in the first place.
Today, ask yourself this question: “Whose approval am I really looking for?”
The answer to that question will make all the difference.
Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:
Breathe in: God of the secret place,
Breathe out: I want to be seen by you.