"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.Matthew 6:6(NASB)
Prayer is one of the most vital and special prerogatives that Christians have been afforded, in this Church age. Through the blood of Christ, Christians in this Church dispensation, have been given access into the throne-room of God, and as His children, we have been given the right to draw near to Him with boldness, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace for help in time of need.
It was part way through the famous, 'sermon on the mount', that Jesus gave this short teaching, on the important practice of prayer, and the specific need for our own, private prayer-time. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father, Who is in secret, and your Father, Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
The practice of the Pharisees was to stand on the street corners, and proclaim loud, pious prayers.. so that they would be seen by men, and impress the people that passed by. God had commanded Israelite men to put tassels on their garments, to remind them of the 613 commandments of God, but sadly, they turned this into a legalistic practice, in order to draw attention to their own religiosity!
Submissive worship of God, is the essence of prayer, and the self-glorification of those hypocritical Pharisees, was denounced by Jesus, Who taught that prayer, to our unseen heavenly Father, should be carried out privately - in reverential fear of the Lord and with humility of heart.
Because of this directive, some like to teach that communal prayer, with other brothers and sisters in Christ, is unbiblical, but this teaching does not prohibit public prayer, but is specifically geared towards an individual's own private prayer-time - where the child of God enjoys sweet communion with his heavenly Father.
It is not so much where we pray that is important, but why we pray.. and the attitude of heart that lies behind the prayers and petitions that we offer to God.. about which Jesus is teaching in this passage.
Prayer is intimate communion with our heavenly Father, and before engaging in public prayer with others, we should establish a closeness with God through privately meeting Him, in the quiet solitude of our own prayer 'closet' - wherever that may be.
Prayer is the breath of the soul, which continuously reaches out in helplessness, to the God Who made us and redeemed us, with His own precious blood. Prayer is an attitude of heart, that cries out to the tender Father-heart of God, for intimacy and close communion. Prayer is the combining of man's helplessness, with his faith in God's gracious provision, and a trust in His never-ending love.
Let us pray day by day, in the quietness of our own particular, private prayer 'closet', for payer is one of the most vital and special prerogatives that Christians have been afforded, in this Church age of grace.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift and privilege of prayer. Thank You that we have access to Your throne of grace, for help in time of need. You alone are worthy of my grateful thanks and praise, for this unparalleled birth-right. Renew in me an increasing desire to know You more, and to love You better, with each passing day. Purge from me any petty attitudes that may hinder my fellowship with You. Instil in me a deepening desire to linger in Your presence and to praise You unceasingly, in spirit and truth. And develop in my heart an attitude of worshipful prayer, so that my communion with You, becomes the essential essence of my very life on earth. This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.