Prayer is never something we do to be seen. It loses its whole purpose if it becomes a platform to impress others. 

It is a private act of devotion, not a public demonstration of piety. According to Jesus, it belongs in the closet of our lives, an act done in secret.

Christ never saw prayer as pleading or begging or hammering away at the throne of God. 

No, the Father knows His children, He knows what we need. Therefore, there is no reason to think that connecting with Him requires special words excessively repeated.

Prayer was never intended to be a verbal marathon for only the secret-code talk for the clergy or a public display of piety. None of that. 

Real prayer—the kind of prayer Jesus mentioned and modelled—is realistic, spontaneous, down-to-earth communication with the living Lord that results in a relief of personal anxiety and a calm assurance that our God is in full control of our circumstances.


Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.