"The secret of praying is praying in secret." - Leonard Ravenhill
“Public prayers are of little worth unless they are founded on or followed up by private praying." - E. M Bounds
"O, let the place of secret prayer become to me the most beloved spot on earth." - Andrew Murray
In Luke 18:10-14, we find the story of two men. One was a Pharisee. He stood in the middle of the temple and prayed in a loud voice so everyone could see how holy he was. The other was a Publican, a tax collector, a sinner. He stood by himself in a corner and whispered his prayer.
The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank thee and I am not evil as other men are. I am not unjust or an adulterer or a tax collector as that other man is. I fast twice a week and I pay my tithes faithfully.”
The Publican would not lift his eyes to heaven. Instead, he stood by himself in an out of the way corner and placed his hand on his heart. He simply prayed, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
Jesus said that the Publican’s prayers were effective and the Pharisee’s prayers were wasted.
The Pharisee’s prayers hit the roof and went nowhere. The Publican’s prayer soared straight to heaven.
The Pharisee was heard by men and ignored by God. The Publican was despised by men but celebrated by the Almighty.
In the moment of his prayer, the Pharisee received all the benefit he would ever get from his prayer. But the Publican’s prayer reverberated throughout eternity. Where you pray determines where you get the benefit. If you pray to be seen by men, your reward will come here on earth, but if you pray to be seen by God, your reward will come from above.
It is much better to pray humbly in private and have God’s ear, then it is to pray in public and have a heart overflowing with pride.