Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. – Matthew 6:8
Do not be like who??? Let’s back up a bit to find out.
“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
In the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord instructs us to pray behind a closed-door. He does not want us to babble loudly for all to hear – because if men hear you, God won’t. We are once again reminded that God knows our motives and intentions. We can fool other people, but we certainly cannot pull the wool over God’s eyes.
I’ve heard this question so many times: If God already knows what I need, why do I have to ask Him for it?
As a parent, you basically know what your children need. What if they went along and never mentioned any wants or needs to you? You would think that child was a bit ungrateful, wouldn’t you? I rest my case. God wants a relationship with us – through His Son, Christ Jesus. We pray in private – to God in Jesus’ Name.
In Jesus’ Name we can bring our real heart to the Father. He just wants us to be real. Honesty goes a long way with God.
God is the only One who needs to know our plea. That’s not to say that corporate prayer or praying in a group is bad. There are many times when my faith is weak and it encourages my spirit to hear a brother or sister in Christ pray. Friendship in Christ includes prayer – for each other and with each other. 🙂