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.
- Matthew 6:6
No man is greater than his prayer life. It is as one saint said, “the people who are not praying are straying...”
Anyone can be “religious.” So often, that is what Sunday becomes, a shop window where we put forward the best version of ourselves. Church becomes a place where we are more “religious” than “real.”
Yet, in the prayer closet, no one can show off.
There is no one to impress.
There is no one to fool except yourself.
Thus our Lord's admonition today, “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.” Jesus knows that the Father wants real. Jesus knows that the secret to praying is praying in secret. It's like Drake White said;
“What you love, what you hate.
I'll take the real, leave the fake.
I want the sinner and the saint.”
God wants us to be “real,” and that begins with prayer. Prayer is not performance. Prayer is not a time to drum up theological phrases. Instead, prayer is petition, simple and simply profound.
A conversation between you and God that begins with you and God. You have needs. You have wants. You have sins that need forgiveness, and you have people that you need to forgive.
Everything that you need and want begins in the prayer closest. That's the reward— God hears real prayers. God will meet your needs. He will grant you your request. God will answer your prayers (Matt. 7:11).
But those prayers must be real. We do not pray for show. We do not pray to display our piety. We pray to meet God where we are so that He might make us more like Him. So every day, we pray in secret so that God may know us and that we may know Him.
Your prayer today, “God, give me the courage to be alone with you. See me for who I am, not who I pretend to be. You know my needs, God. Help me.”