But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Mat 6:6)
The context of Matthew 6:6 is an illustration of the truth of not practicing one’s righteousness to be noticed (Mat 6:1). The areas of illustrated danger are in the devotional practices of giving (6:2-4), public praying (6:5-6), repetitious, lengthy praying (6:7-15), and fasting (6:16-18). People typically see long prayers, giving, and religious fasting as signs of “spirituality.”
Jesus is not saying that all praying is to be “secret.” It is self-evident that our Lord Jesus 1) retired for prayer, 2) prayed in the presence of the disciples and the multitudes, 3) prayed while walking, and 4) prayed in communion; that is, silent or non-vocalized praying.
Jesus is saying to be aware of our subtle, deceitful desire for man’s “notice.” The prevention to this perversity of our nature is to outwork our basic devotional practices in secret. We are not to parade our religious observances to gain admiration, notice, credibility, honor, or attention of men.
There is a segment to our praying that is “secret.” We pray secretly to a secret or invisible God. Invisible to men, praying to the invisible God. This type of righteousness practiced brings reward — the reward of our prayer answered.
— for the exhortation at our midweek prayer meeting, see sermonaudio.