There is nothing wrong with praying when others see you praying. There is everything wrong with praying because you want to be seen. The church people of Jesus’ day had a habit of making a show of their prayers. “To be seen by men…” Jesus says. Jesus teaches us to pray in a private space where we won’t be tempted to مواقيت الصلاة فى مَكَّة role-play. When we are alone with God, we are able to honestly express ourselves to God. And honest prayer is what God is after. God is not looking for the perfect use of grammar, eloquence or Victorian English…He looks at the heart. People may judge by those things, but God makes up His own mind. Even when the words come out all wrong, He knows the heart behind those words and He understands perfectly. He sees even more in our hearts than we can see ourselves. But, there is also a reward promised to those who spend their time in “unseen” prayer. “And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.” Matthew 6:6b (AMP). Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote, “Fervent prayer is like a cannon planted by the gates of heaven which makes them fly open.” Being alone with God in prayer has many benefits. Some seen, some unseen. Sometimes God does not change our circumstances, but He changes our approach to the circumstances and thereby brings us a peace that transcends all understanding. Initially, being alone with God to engage in fervent prayer may feel uncomfortable. But as Eugene H Peterson has said, “It takes time to develop a life of prayer: set-aside, disciplined, deliberate time. It isn’t accomplished on the run.” How true. Setting aside time for God in prayer may require discipline in the beginning, but once we’ve tasted how good it is to be alone with Him, it becomes a spontaneous desire. The Lord desires our time with Him much more than we realize. When we’re in a relationship with someone, it could never last if we wear masks and are never ourselves. To develop a deep and intimate relationship with God we need to throw away the masks and just be ourselves with Him. It’s not as if He doesn’t know who we really are anyway. May we learn to enjoy His company in times of intimate prayer. In His presence is the best place to be.
- And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box-seat? (Paraphrase of Matthew 6:5) The Message
- The prayer of a person living right with God is something to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t -not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. (James 5:16b-18) The Message