20 Praying without PRETENCE

Matthew 6 v 5 – 8

5 “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. 6 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.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him
. (ESV)

  1. Caution regarding Public Prayer (verse 5):
    Problems with hypocritical prayer:
    * Prayer became nothing more than a ritual.
    * Pre-determined prayers were formulated for every aspect of life.
    * Prayer was limited to pre-set time and occasions.
    * Long prayer was held in high regard.
    * Many prayers consisted of meaningless repetition.
    * The desire to be seen and heard by others when you pray.

    a. Beware of wrong motives –
      You need to be wanting to share your heart with God through prayer.
    b. Beware of wrong methods –
      Prayer should be talking to God, not people.

  2. Counsel regarding Private Prayer (vv 6-8):  
    a. Real Prayer is a Priority –
       Jesus said “When you pray…”.
    b. Real Prayer is Personal –
       Go to a private place to talk to God about things you only want Him to know.
    c. Real Prayer is Precious –
       Pray to your Father who is in secret.
       Christians are able to enter the secret place through proper prayer.
    d. Real Prayer is Powerful –
       The Father will reward you openly when you pray correctly.

  3. Conditions regarding Personal Prayer:
    a. Refrain from repetition in prayer.
    b. Rest in your relationship with God.
    c. Rely on His resources.