Do you find you have to make up conversation with people or you start to feel uncomfortable? I think this is pretty common for most of us, until we get to know someone. It seems to me the better we know someone, the less speech becomes the necessary ambiance of our relationship. At peaceful or traumatic moments, it is enough to be in the presence of someone who cares for you.
“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.”
Why pray? A good question. In Jesus’ day, it seems the standard answer was “To be seen”. I sometimes wonder if our evangelical enthusiasm for prayer is just a godly dressing up of gossip. There are many well meaning believers out there who when asked to pray for someone offer unsolicited advice, possibly never praying, and it makes me cringe (especially since I find myself in their number on occasion). Prayer is not a status symbol or a talking point.
What intrigues me most about this verse though, is the promise. “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” In the context, you might be forgiven for thinking this means “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will give you what you ask.” While God longs to give us good gifts (see the next chapter), I suspect the reward is something else. I think it is prayer itself.
Real prayer is nothing more earth shattering than honest to goodness conversation with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. The curtain is pulled back, and the Wizard of Oz has a chat with us. No pretense or posturing, just Grace and Truth. Moses’ face it is said, was difficult to behold, it shined so after communion with God.
Prayer is a priviledge and a reward for those that seek God’s face.
Lord, I seek Your face.