Our Glory or His?
God isn’t a big fan of humans doing things for our own glory. In fact, look at any behavior where the goal is to draw attention away from God and to ourselves. You can bet that God is frowning upon it. Focusing on God’s glory (more Him, and less us) is a sign of Christian maturity.
The Jewish Pharisees were known for praying in public as a show of their self-righteousness. They were seeking their own glory and Jesus Christ saw right through it.
But let us not think we are immune from such actions. Us mere humans are bent upon seeking the approval of other people. We want to look better than we are. We want to appear like we have it all together. We want to come across as more spiritual or holy than we are. God knows our hearts. Nothing is hidden from Him.
Pray in Private
And so, this installment of “2 Minutes to Christian Maturity” is about private prayer. Let’s read from Matthew 6:6, “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.”
So God says we should pray in private. Does this mean public prayers are not heard? Of course they are! God is recommending private prayer so we aren’t tempted to pray with the wrong motivation (self glory).
The most effective prayers are those when we come humbly before our God, lay ourselves bare before Him, repent of our sins, and ask for His grace and forgiveness. When was the last time you prayed like that in public? God knows that praying in private is the best place to have “quality time”.
When I started caring more about what God thinks of me than what other people think of me, it evolved into a genuine act of worship instead of trying to “look Christian”.
But when it comes to Christian maturity, God knows best. If given the choice, private prayer, free of distractions, is preferred. Take 2 minutes, and find a secluded spot where you can connect in prayer with our Holy God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Giver of life, the One who knows what we need even before we ask.
Can we ask you to do us a favor?
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