Matthew 6:6 (ESV), “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
In Luke 18, Jesus told a parable about a widow who needed justice. This widow went to the judge in town and said to him, “give me justice against my adversary”. There are many ways she could have solved her problem, but she chose the legally acceptable way, and although it took some time, she eventually got what she wanted.
Jesus told this parable to teach that prayer is the legal way to deal with life’s issues and that we are never to give up praying until we have received an answer.
The widow pleaded with a human judge but we are to plead with our Father; God.
In Matthew 6:9 Jesus said, “Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”. Every prayer should be directed to our Father in heaven.
It is sad that many today are now taking prayer as an end in itself. They make statements like: “prayer is powerful”, and “prayer moves mountains”, while others pride themselves in the number of hours they spend praying. But, many of such end up very frustrated because they did not get answers.
Today’s text says, “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you”, proving that God is the one who is powerful, he is the one who answers prayers (see Psalms 65:2).
The next time you want to pray, remember that: prayer is not the end, but a means to reach God who is the end. So, the target should not be prayer, rather, the target should be God. If you pray with this understanding, you will get more answers.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, please help me to pray correctly.
—Dr. Emmanuel James