“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)
Why did Jesus command us to pray in secret? Because a complete prayer is not one only for our families and friends, but also for our enemies. And many would hate hearing you pray for God’s mercy toward their enemies.
As Christ once said,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
But what do we benefit, if anything, from praying for our enemies? What good does it do to us?
The truth of the matter is that our hearts have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and our minds are being renewed day by day by the content of the heart. We struggle with contemplating enemies because our regenerated hearts have no room for enemies. It cannot fathom how anyone who look like us can objectively be our enemy. As the word once said, “if God is for us, who can be against us?”
Our hearts get saddened whenever we face the prospect of anyone acting like our enemy because we cannot see how successful such a person can ever be at such endeavor.
Instead, what our regenerated heart is comfortable with is seeing the good not just for ourselves but also those who still struggle to see us as their sister or brother.
It blesses us very much to ask God to help our “enemies” in their life trials by His mercy just as He does for us. In praying such blessings toward those who seem different than us, we’re training our minds of how we’re truly feel about such individuals. And the Spirit of God guides beautifully in such prayer which releases the mind of confusions by making known the comfort of the regenerated heart.
Praying in secret is rewarding to ourselves and those whom we pray for because it’s done according to God’s will. No one, nobody else, can understand the depth and width of your prayer other than God, other than His Son, other than His Spirit.
Even when we run out of words,
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26)
People often seek to correct everything or anything they hear, and your prayer won’t be excluded. If it’s meant to be public, do it to the glory of God, the glory of His joy, life, peace to all of us in Christ Jesus.