Reading the Word
Matthew 6:5–6 (ESV)
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.
Understanding and Applying the Word
It is amazing what we will do to bring attention to ourselves. It may be the way we dress. It may be the things we say, as we exaggerate the truth or make up complete lies. It may be any number of things. It may even be the way we practice our religion.
Jesus warned against the hypocrisy of some who used religion to draw attention to themselves. In particular, he spoke of those who liked to pray in public places so they would be seen. They wanted to be thought of as holy and devoted, but they were far from that in reality. Those who are truly devoted to the Lord are not interested in attention. They are interested only in their relationship with their Creator. Those who are truly devoted to the Lord will spend far greater time in private prayer where no one sees or knows than in public prayer. It is who we are and what we do when we are alone with no one watching that tells us what we really are.
Who are you when you are alone? Does your private life mirror your public life?
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