Talk Is Cheap, Prayer Is Priceless
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
The New King James Version. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mt 6:5-8.
I. When You Pray, Consider Your Motivation
a. WHEN, NOT IF (v5a) God “expects” us to pray. If we're going to have a relationship with Him, we must communicate with Him. It is as vital to our relationship with Him as breathing is to living. Now that is motivation!
b. Ps. 5:3 says “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”
Adrian Rogers said it this way; “Why is it best to spend time with the Lord in the morning? Because you are getting ready to go on a road trip through life. You don’t take the trip and then read the map, do you?”
II. When You Pray, Consider Your Method
a. WHY, NOT HOW (v5b) Public prayer is supported in Scripture ...but one who prays publically, for show, already has their reward. Pray to communicate with the Lord. This will equip you in your outward relationship with others. Prayer has a way of helping us recall Scripture. This is why Scripture study, memorization, and prayer are so important. I recall so many times when I went to the Lord in prayer over an issue, that He enabled me to recall Scripture to model how a situation should be handled.
b. WHERE AND FOR WHOM
i. (v6) Do you have a secret place to go, where you can pray? You don't show God your religiosity by lifting your hands in the air or sprawling out on the floor. God needs you to meet Him in a secret place, where He has all your attention ..not man's attention.
ii. (v7) God is not hard of hearing, nor does He speak in King James English. He is unimpressed by our worldly vocabulary. He is Abba, your Father, your Daddy! You don't have to impress Him. Talk to Him that way.
III. When You Pray, Consider It Done
a. (v8) Do we pray just so that God can make a shopping list for our prayers? Scripture says that He already knows them. He is deeply concerned about your daily needs, and already has a plan for them. He wants “you” to recognize your need, and to depend on Him to meet them.
b. Jer. 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”