TEXT: Matthew 6:5-8
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Prayer is a good thing — a good thing that every Christian ought to be engaged in. Prayer was considered by the Jews one of the three good deeds that everyone ought to do, along with fasting and giving to the poor. However, we must pray in the right manner if we want our prayers to be heard and answered. This right manner of praying is what Jesus describes in this passage.
One aspect of praying right is praying in secret. And Jesus describes the reward of secret prayer in verse 6: “Thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Many people strive for recognition, applause, and rewards from others, and they completely miss out on the rewards that come from God. People reward us for what they can see us do. But, God rewards us for what people cannot see us do. God rewards us for having the right heart and spirit toward Him and others. God rewards us for being faithful in private, secret prayer to Him.
Not only does God reward us, but He rewards us openly. He rewards us in such a way that others will see and will not be able to deny His blessings in our lives. Mike Yaconelli shares a story about Billy Graham in his book, “Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith.” He said, ‘The night before a crusade was to begin in [Sacramento, CA] the crusade choir rehearsal went late. One of the musicians in the choir was driving through downtown when he noticed a homeless man slumped over on the steps of the state capital building. It was cold outside, almost midnight and, at that time of night, definitely not the safest place to be. He decided he couldn’t ignore the plight of this poor homeless man. The homeless man was crouching almost cocoon like on the steps and the choir member reached out and gently touched his shoulder and asked, ‘Sir, can I help you? Are you okay?’ The man looked up and in that instant, the choir member realized it was Billy Graham himself praying for the city of Sacramento. It was not just the incredible preparation and work that brought thousands of people to Christ each time Billy Graham held a crusade, it’s the fact that Billy Graham depended on the Lord’s power through prayer.”
Billy Graham engaged in secret, private prayer, and God rewarded him by blessing his ministry in public. Everybody saw the blessing, everybody saw the reward, but not everybody saw the prayer.
Just as with anything else in life, what you do in private behind closed doors will eventually show its effects in public. Let’s not be as the hypocrites are and pray to be seen by men and then receive empty rewards from them. Let’s be faithful in private prayer to God so that God will bless us and use us for his glory in the world.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.