Bible with Cross ShadowAnd when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Matthew 6:5-6

On the surface, this saying appears to be nothing more than a repeat of the last, with a different subject – our prayer life. This is true, in part. There is something of a “do not do” tone, a warning against seeking rewards from the world (having the wrong motivation), and a promise of the same kingdom consequence or reward. There is, however, a deeper revelation we should consider.

In this passage, Jesus Christ has given precise step-by-step instructions for the way we are to pray. The simple fact that He has prescribed a process for our prayer life is significant. This leads us to the underlying “to do” of this passage: Do things God’s way.

God has a way for everything that we must do in His kingdom. Jesus came to show us those ways. What we consider to be insignificant differences (i.e., leaving the door open) may be a critical success factor in God’s economy. Furthermore, we must be careful about adding things to God’s way for something. The inventions of man are many times just repackaged ways of the world. I don’t have an example in mind; and this is not an accusation; but a warning that we need to be careful.

To be honest and transparent, I have not completed an exhaustive study of the ways of God for prayer; so there might be other prescriptions and examples. I hope you will find and share them. I suspect that praying aloud in small groups – even church – has a Biblical basis. In fact, the “you” in this passage is most likely plural, making this prescription applicable to corporate prayer as well (e.g., the early disciples praying together as they waited for the Holy Spirit).

In closing, be encouraged that God enjoys engaging in conversation with His children. He is keen and intentional to communicate His ways for our lives. It would be wise to insert a step in every kingdom project and endeavor we take on: To ask ourselves, “Are we doing this God’s way?”

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9

Doing things God’s way is doing things supernaturally. It is the “more than” normal Christian life. God bless you with the wisdom and courage to discover and do things His way.

Humbly yours and forever His,