What is the secret to having our prayers answered? Is it the words we use or the intensity in which we pray? What will cause God to hear and to answer our prayers? Consider what Jesus said –
“… when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6 NLT)
Jesus tells us that there is great power in private prayer. This is not to say that we should never pray in public, but that prayer made in private often produces powerful results. Why is that so?
Perhaps it is because prayer made in private is FREE OF PRIDE. Prayer made in public can be tainted with pride. Such pride comes from focusing more on those around us than on God. We can be tempted to use words or say things that will make them think – ‘Wow! I didn’t know you were that spiritual!’ If this becomes our motive for praying, our prayers will produce few results. On the other hand, prayer made in private is free of the need to impress others. When we pray in private, the only one listening is God and rather than praying with pride, we will pray with humility.
Prayer made in private is also FILLED WITH PASSION. The word used in the Bible most closely associated with passion is the word – ‘zeal.’ The word zeal means to boil with heat. Though a prayer made in public may appear to be full of passion, it may be as cold as ice. The zeal expressed in such a prayer comes from the head and not from the heart. Yet passion expressed in private prayer is often authentic. For what other reason would we be passionate except to express our need to God?
Prayer made in private is also FAITH IN A PROVIDER. No doubt this is the primary reason God desires for us to pray in private. What greater way could we demonstrate our faith in Him than to go to Him in private and share with Him alone our cares and needs?
Private prayer is a believer’s deepest form of worship. During such times of prayer, we can enter the Holy of Holies and talk face to face with the living God. That being the case, we should make every effort to find ourselves daily at our altar of prayer. Jesus promised us that when we do, our Father who sees us in secret will reward us openly.
God bless you brethren.
* Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.