I remember listening to a conference where one of the speakers was bragging about how much time he would spend in prayer. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it except he mentioned it 10 times throughout the conference. It was a little overkill.
Now, I’m all for praying. In fact, I think it’s essential for life. But I don’t think prayer is about making others think you’re spiritually cool.
In fact, Jesus told us not to do that.
He said, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full,” in Matthew 6:5.
How sad would it be if the only reward we got from our prayer time was the praise of people? It would be far better to be rewarded by God. Don’t you think?
Thankfully, Jesus goes on to tell us just how to receive that reward.
He said, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you,” in Matthew 6:6.
Here’s three things you can do in your prayer time to receive a reward from God for your prayer time.
Pray for people and not to people. By all means you should pray for the needs of others. But be careful that you’re not praying to be recognized by others. The only one you really want noticing your prayers is God.
Make your prayers intimate. I love that Jesus sets the example of going into your room and closing the door. Now he’s not saying that’s the only place to pray. What he’s saying is that your prayer time is meant to be between you and God. Prayer is the most intimate thing you will do with God.
Expect God’s reward. Jesus said God “will reward you.”
How cool is that?
God will answer your prayers every time you pray. He will say either “yes,” “no: or “not right now.” How he answers is up to him, but in some way, somehow he will reward you for seeking him.
Let’s not complicate our prayer time by trying to impress people. Let’s make prayer about God. He’s really the one we want to hear and answer us.
I’m praying for you.
Zachary Elliott is the lead pastor of Fusion Christian Church in Temecula. For more information, visit www.fushionchristianchurch.com or find them on Instagram.