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Show it to God – Part Two: Praying

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8 New International Version (NIV) Believers in a personal relationship with God understand prayer as being in a conversation with God. Corporate prayer is good and is encouraging to many people at the same time as the one praying is usually interceding for a group of head-bowed people making petitions to God for as many circumstances as possible in one single monologue. However, Jesus often went off by Himself to pray and encouraged His followers in His Sermon on the Mount to do the same when communing with the Father. They wouldn't be able to see Him, but He would be there, listening while already knowing their every need. God likes to hear us as we share with Him what we think is a secret. This demonstrates our faith. It's amazing what we reveal when we don't worry about who is listening to us as we pray. Yesterday we delved into "giving" in secret. In this same sermon Christ speaks of "praying" in secret to receive our greatest rewards. We serve a God who reads minds and hearts. It is not a bad thing to pray out loud in front of others, but when it's just one-on-one with the Most High God, the intimacy we experience can carry us very far after that quiet chat with the Lord. The prayer spoken directly to our Heavenly Father when we pray alone will stay in our hearts and heads until we call out to Him again. In fact, the more we do it, the more we look for the opportunity to speak to Him about everything, every chance we get. It also gives true meaning to the God's Word for us to pray without ceasing. In order to follow this command without looking crazy to others, we need to get off by ourselves and be alone to speak to God! And He is always waiting to hear from us, especially when we pray in the name of His Son. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

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