‘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. ‘
Since we’ve been talking a lot recently on “praising God” and what that looks like in our lives even in the tough times, I have a question for you today!
How are you praising God when you’re alone? What’s easy to do is to praise God on social media posts or in conversation with others because we are people who like to fit in and say the right things. Jesus here in Matthew 6, is teaching a lesson about how not to handle your business with God and in the verse above (v.6), how to handle your time with God. Jesus mentions how the religious leaders of this time praise God, pray and do things in public settings because what they are seeking is the praise of men. They want to be looked at as “holy,” and “good” to all the people around them but look what Jesus says about that;
‘”And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. ‘ Matthew 6:5
Jesus warns us not to worry about or focus on doing things such as prayer purely for the praise of others, why? Because what Jesus tells us in verse 6 is what makes the difference in our lives. Just like anything else, it’s the things you do when nobody is around or watching you that mold you and make you into the person God wants you to be. And on top of that, that time with God should never be out of any incentive towards others, our hearts should be purely focused on God, spending time with Him and praising Him, not to praise anyone with our use of energy or time but the God who makes all things happen in our lives!
It’s just like an athlete, it’s not the work they do on the field in front of others that transforms them into big time players who make big time plays when the game is on. It’s what they do when no one is watching, it’s how they intentionally spend time training their bodies and minds, working out, putting up extra shots. It’s simply the work they do in secret that comes to light when the crowd is around them and they get in the game.
How are we taking this same approach? How are we investing our time and energy when no one is looking to God? How are we praying and talking to God by ourselves, just us and Him, spending intentional time communicating and listening to the Father? These are questions we need to ask and need to find ways to make priorities in our life because what Jesus says here is how we can best get to know God, it’s in this time alone with God that He shapes and molds us with His truth. It’s in this time that God pours into us His wisdom and His truth in ways that when we get back in the public arena of life, this time we spent investing ourselves to God will come to light and people will take notice way more by the way you are speaking and living what God is up to in your life than a facebook post will ever show them!
How are praising God when no one is watching?