Apple is facing a decision. Creating a ‘back door’ to the terrorist’s cell phone to retrieve incripted messages or face legal problems. What a dilemma–to protect their product or protect the country.
But secret prayer knows no such dilemma. When Jesus is instructing his disciples to pray in Matthew 6, he warns against ostentatious or show off prayers And he doesn’t say, ‘if’ you pray, but ‘when’ you pray. He says, Don’t pray publicly like the hypercritical Pharisees, instead pray in secret. Jesus is stressing the motive for praying.
Since prayer is central to a believer’s life, Jesus gives warnings and a positive example. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your father. . . . Then your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). The word ‘secret’ is derived from the Greek word ‘incriptos’, from which we get the word ‘incripted.’ There is no back door necessary for our incripted prayer.
The Pharisees announced their prayers in public with trumpets and fanfare to be seen and praised by men. Our pastor says about this secrecy. Don’t be boastful. In fact, don’t even ‘announce’ it to yourself. You have the freedom to discuss anything with God. He’ll hear you and in his own time will answer.
When you leave your prayer closet or, as the movie calls it, The War Room, you can smile big with God . Because you’ve poured out your heart to your Father and shared your secrets with him, you’ll be fortified and equipped for the day’s battles and problems.
At any time we can go to our Lord in prayer without having to create a ‘back door’ for our prayers. So there is no dilemma. The door is always open. What is even better is that though he hears ‘in secret,’ he often answers openly.
You may find the translation in The Message refreshing as a parallel reading.
And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom. Do you think God sits in a box seat? Here is what I [Jesus] want you to do. Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God (Matthew 6:5, 6).