This post is Day 9 in a series of studies about “Doors & Gates”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Doors & Gates – Day 9
God knows the thoughts of our hearts, and wants us to live as though we are constantly in His view, not the view of others. Others do not need to know how much time we spend in prayer, or what we pray. Both are important to God and He knows.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Whenever I read this verse I think, “Well that sounds good, but what about the families in poor countries who live together in just one room?” Or even large families in the western world where children grow up never having their own room?
There is always a danger in taking verses out of context. A reading of more of the chapter tells us that Jesus was criticising people who had a “religious” spirit; those who wanted others to see that they were “doing the right thing”. He is telling us today that Father God sees everything, He even knows the thoughts of our hearts, and He wants us to live as though we are constantly in His view, not the view of others.
Other people do not need to know how much time we spend in prayer, or even what we pray, but both are important to God and He knows. That is enough. Others will recognise by the lives we lead whether or not we are people of prayer.
Of course there is a time for praying with others and corporate prayer is usually a blessing for all the participants, but wanting others to know how much we pray means we are guilty of self-righteousness. Not a good thing!
Read Matthew 6 today and take note of all the criticisms that Jesus makes, and the encouragements He gives to those of us who truly want to follow Him and please Him. Ask yourself if any of those criticisms fit your life. Try not to criticise others as your read. Pray for help to improve in those areas the Lord highlights for you.