Prayer of the Day

Daily Prayer

June 18th, 2014
"“Whenever you pray, go into your inner room…”" Matthew 6 : 6

Concerning prayer, Jesus teaches two things: the disciples are not to pray like hypocrites, who pray in such a way that they will be seen by others. Jesus is not speaking against public prayer or prayer performed in public, but against praying just to be seen by others.

Here, the behaviour to be avoided is making a public spectacle of oneself in prayer: the only reward for such prayer is the public notoriety it attracts. Prayer offered to win human praise is not prayer at all.

Jesus’ disciples are instructed to avoid making a public display of themselves in prayer. That public prayer should be condemned outright was unthinkable for Jews like Jesus and Matthew, and it is not condemned here. Rather another exaggerated statement is used in order to underline the warning against religious ‘showiness’. God will reward only genuine prayer offered in sincerity to him.

In Jewish piety, the prayer of petition was very important. God, as a loving Father, knows the needs of his children before they even make their requests, but He wants them to ask with confidence and trust.

Prayer Lord, teach me how to pray. Amen