Richard Baxter “Prayer is the breath of the new creature.”
Matthew 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Jesus was teaching of the call of Solitary Supplication rather than Public Presentation.
In this passage, He revealed that it is not that you are to keep your faith a private matter, only that you are to guard your faith from prideful motives.
As we study on personal prayer, we must not forget the call to always have a spirit of prayer and not limit our heart-to-heaven talks to just a certain time of the day. No, indeed we are commanded to “pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).” No matter the time of day we need to be available “to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).” However, in the same way, we must realize that deep, personal prayer is so important to our spiritual walk. It is…
An aid to:
Decrease distractions – Increase intercession
Decrease anxieties– Increase assurance
Decrease vanity – Increase vision
A place where:
Faith is fortified
Power and peace are procured
Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. (This was just before a storm came and discouraged the disciples, yet in the midst of it all, Christ calms the winds and the seas, declaring, “Peace be still!”)
Mark 6:46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
Guidance is Given
Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (The next verses reveal that Jesus then chose His disciples.)
Self is sacrificed
Mat 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. (JUST BEFORE THE CRUCIFIXION.)
Sincere Questions You Must Answer
1. What are the “Multitudes” in Your Life ?
Is there something or someone hindering your daily focus on deep, private prayer?
Jesus sent the multitudes away. Is there anything you need to “send away?”
2. What is Your Garden of Gethsemane?
Is there a place where you commonly go to prepare your heart for brokenness and submissiveness to the spirit’s life in you?