“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6 NLT
Sam had always had this quiet pattern of praying till he joined a “I can’t hear you! Pray louder, let God hear you” kinda church. Prayer times in Church was more of a show time as everyone had to display their shouting, clapping, crying and screaming abilities.
Gradually, Sam was loosing his habit of quiet times because there was no quiet times anymore. Even in his so called “quiet times”, everyone knows he is praying and in the morning, neighbors would hail him for his praying abilities and he would walk in pride feeling “I am on fire!”
Also, in Church, Sam and others who started off sincerely had seen themselves praying for the camera. They wouldn’t want their pictures to grace the social medi looking like they are dull. So, any moment the camera moves by, they are caught up in the involuntary pretense. They have the feeling of “fire” when they look at the pictures but something in them is clearly saying “you’ve been having fun and pleasing yourself, you are yet to pray”.
Many people pray so hard, yet they have not prayed. There is still a place of quiet time with the Lord. God is our father and we shouldn’t let ourselves get lost in the stereotype and rules limiting our expressions and precious times with God. We shouldn’t go to God acting certain scripts, we should go to God in all sincerity not playing to other people’s scripts.
Jesus isn’t saying that God hates when you pray in the public, he isn’t saying that God hates it when others hear you pray. He is simply saying “stop acting those scripts. Start living the love-life with your father. Don’t let people’s definition of prayer control how you relate with your father”.
It’s an insult to God when people’s definitions of prayer determines how you relate with God.
I call you blessed.