Private or public prayer - what did Jesus say?
[Steve Myers] We began a series on prayer yesterday and we began to focus on the Sermon on the Mount, one of Christ's most vital teachings. It's got famous sections like the beatitudes, but oftentimes we forget that it also includes a big section on prayer where He talked about how vital it is and He talked a lot about how we're supposed to pray.
[Darris McNeely] Remember that in this Sermon on the Mount Christ is talking to His closest followers, people that He is…becoming His disciples. He is "discipling" these people and He's teaching them in some of the most fundamental aspects of the Kingdom of God. And prayer is that, one of the most basic areas in which we endeavor to build a relationship with God.
[Steve Myers] We've got to come to God. We've got to believe that He is. We have to have faith and in order to build that faith we have to understand His Word and talk with God—have a relationship with God. So Christ focused on that and one of the things He said was that we don't do it for show. He said that there's specific places that we really get into deep conversations with God. Here's what He said in Matthew 6:6 Matthew 6:6But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.
American King James Version×, He says, "But 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." So He focuses on private prayer.
[Darris McNeely] In this particular verse Christ is talking about going into a secret place—it can be a room, it can be a closet, it can be a place off, away from everyone else, it could be outdoors in nature for all that concerns. But it is a secret place where we really delve into the real true treasures of our life and that is in a relationship with God. You might look at it as if the treasures are already there waiting to be discovered in that we have a relationship with God; we discover what God's will, His purpose is. We prayerfully read the Scriptures. We pray about that, but we do that in a secret setting where all the distractions of life are put aside and we have time to focus for a period of time on God, on His Word, and talking to God in prayer.
[Steve Myers] There's a power in prayer. And that power certainly comes from God Himself. That when we have a right relationship with Him, we can share everything there is about us with Him, and He knows it already. He wants to share with us and we need to share our life with Him and look to Him for solutions in our life.
[Darris McNeely] Now Christ has focused on not being a hypocrite and He's also focused on when we pray going into a secret place. These are some of the preludes to deeper aspects of prayer. We'll come back in another episode of BT Daily and we'll talk more about how Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
[Steve Myers] That's BT Daily. See you next time.