Interestingly, the Lord Jesus starts His teaching on prayer, by clarifying what prayer is not rather than what it is. In the previous chapter, He says unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20). The Pharisees were known for their religious showmanship, prioritizing rituals and rules over a genuine love for God. And now in these verses, He is giving us further insight into this important topic.
God is not impressed!
“Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.” – E.M. Bounds
Jesus reminds us that God values the condition of your heart, not the outward show in prayer. Prayer is not to be an opportunity to show off. It’s not about captivating the world’s gaze, but the heart of God. The true essence of prayer lies not in eloquence but in the profound bond and unwavering faith we share with our Creator. It’s not a test of knowledge but a testament to our reliance on God.
Prayer is your simple, real, and honest conversation with God, to which sometimes others may be witnesses.