In Mathew 6:5-6, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. Jesus replied, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others, Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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”.
Jesus taught his disciples a sequence to follow when they pray to the father. The Lord began by telling them what not to do followed by what must be done in order to receive reward from heavenly father.
Don’t be like hypocrite – If we do anything for the Lord with the intention to get human commendation, we are deemed hypocrite in the sight of the Lord. Again, if we are working for the Lord but in our heart we desire to be seen and recognized by men, we have already received our reward and we can’t expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Men look at the work of hands but God looks at the intent of the heart. Unless the meditation of the heart and the work of our hands both are acceptable in the sight of the Lord, our sacrifices will not fetch us any rewards. Bible says, “Obedience is better than sacrifices.” An obedient heart that cries out in the presence of father is more acceptable than long prayers uttered to impress others.
Go to your room – The Lord commands us to go where we have come from. He says go back to where you belong to. This is the place that the Lord has assigned us and this is the place where we will get our prayers answered.
Life is not the same all the times, sometimes it brings us tons and tons of blessings other times, it seems the answers are taking long to arrive – days, months and often years. Sometimes the situation becomes unbearable and being weak in nature, all we want is to run away from the situation, hoping that the escape would be better off than staying at this place. These negative situations adversely impact our prayer life and fill us with an unwillingness to pray. Even though we know that we should pray in all seasons without ceasing, our feelings dictate just the opposite. Devil tries to tempt us with the lie by questioning us “Why the Lord doesn’t answer your prayers? Why are you suffering for long if you are a child of God? Why do you keep praying when you don’t see anything happening for a long time?”
Jesus is asking us to remain strong at this moment and don’t leave our ground under the influence of devil’s deception. This is the place where you and I have been positioned This is the place where you and I were destined to be at this time in the history. This is the battlefield and the place where you and I will receive answer from the Lord.
Close the door – Once you have mustered your strength and courage by not giving up to the temptation to run away from the situation, you are ready to pray. But there is still something that needs to be done before we present our request to the father. Jesus says, “Close the door”. The Lord is asking us to get ourselves disconnected from the world both outside and the inner – self. Closing the door is not easy but whatever the Lord has commanded, that has been made easy for us to do by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The father who sees what you do in secret will reward you – In full submission of heart, mind and soul, when a child of God comes into the presence of God, He receives his reward. God knows the desire of every hearts but it is the desire of God’s heart to rejoice in the presence of his children. God enjoys our presence as much as we rejoice in His presence. Father looks at us while our hearts are soaked up in his presence and opens his hands to bestow divine blessings onto us.
It’s not what we do for the Lord that determines our reward; it’s what the father sees us doing that brings us blessings. There is a clear distinction between what we do for the Lord and how the Lord rewards us based on what he sees.
Let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes so that we may see how the Lord looks at us and sees what we do. Let’s ask the Lord to open our eyes so that our thoughts and feelings be aligned with His own thoughts and desires, so that we may be able to extract purpose out of our own lives, and see how important we are in the vastness of his divine plan.
His presence is supreme and pure that changes our hearts and enlightens us to make us see ourselves in a whole new way. We come to his presence broken hearted, discouraged and without a purpose but leave being made whole with a new vision and plan. A plan that is in God’s heart and that needs each one of us for completion. The moment our desires are aligned with God’s own desires, blessings flow out of the throne of the one who is, who was and who is to come. Blessed be his name for ever.