And 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.
Prayer is an important emphasis in the Kingdom of Heaven. Living as Kingdom citizens allows us the privilege of prayer. We can converse and commune with God.
The Lord’s message in v. 5 is “do not be a hypocrite when we pray.” Don’t pray publicly one way when you are a different person in private. God has a real problem with us pretending to be something we are not.
Simply put, we are not to pray for the audience around us. We are to pray to God and to God alone.
Those who pray for the ears of others have their reward. They are well-thought of in the moment, but, that’s it. No reward exists for hypocritical praying.
By contrast, our prayers are to be authentic and the same whether we pray privately or publicly. We are rewarded by the father when we seek Him sincerely each day. The Father is pleased with this type of praying.
Remember, Jesus is not condemning public prayer per se. He is condemning hypocritical public prayers that do not glorify God but glorify the one who prays.
Glorify Jesus in your prayer life, child of God. He is worthy!