Text: Matthew 6:5-7
A. We learn from these Scriptures that there are two ways to pray:
- Public prayers, and
- Private prayers
B . We learn that there are two purposes in prayer:
- Public prayer is to impress people
- Private prayers are to reach the ears of God regardless of what people think or say.
C. There is a time and a place for public prayer, and there is a time and place for private prayer.
D. Today I want to talk to you about secret prayer, but not completely discounting public praying.
I. THE PLACE FOR SECRET PRAYER–THE CLOSET
A. Not necessarily a building, or any other physical material
Some people wanted to build a prayer room for Billy Graham…a place where he could go to pray. When they approached Billy about it he said, “I already have my place of prayer.” Then he explained how he prayed everywhere–his car, plane, ship, motel room, auto mobile, his bedroom, his rest room, in restaurants, etc.etc.
You and I should follow his example and pray everywhere we go.
The PLACE is wherever: at work or play, home mowing lawn, washing your car, washing dishes, doing the laundry, your bed, etc
B.One can pray in secret where ever he or she may be. Notice these examples:
- Jacob at Jabok (Gen.32:24)
- Moses in the mountain 40 days and forty nights when he came down his face was shining with the glory of God (Ex 34:29).
- Daniel in the lion's
- Paul and Silas in jail (Ac.16:23-26)
- Peter on the housetop (Ac.10:9)
II. THE PURPOSE OF SECRET PRAYER
A. To commune with .talk to God in a very intimate way… example of son and father. example of husband and wife.
B. Advantage of secret prayer:
- It can be anywhere.
- It can be anytime.
- It can be about anything. Problems, sins, other people, needs, or perhaps just needing to talk to God.
III. THE PROMISE OF ANSWER TO SECRET PRAYER
A. Reward thee openly. God will answer
- Psalms 91:15
- Luke 11:9
- John 15:7
- Jeremiah 33:3
B. I want to give you a couple of illustrations of answers to secret prayer:
- Hannah in the Bible for a son (1 I :2,6, 10,17)
- George Washington:
One day at Valley Forge, when it looked like Washington and his army were going to be defeated and slaughtered, all hope seemed gone. A farmer passing by the camp, heard someone, -a ways out in the woods, praying. Getting closer to him the farmer saw that it was George Washington on his knees, his cheeks wet with tears as he pleaded with God to give victory. The farmer rushed home and announced to his wife, “We are going to win, Washington will defeat the enemy.” “Why do you say that? How do you know?” she asked. Her husband replied, “I heard Washington praying.”
- How many children will be dragged into the kingdom of Heaven, and miss hell because of an old mother who got hold of God?