Torrey - Man -14.5- Where should we pray?

V. WHERE SHOULD WE PRAY? Matthew 6:6 RV — "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall recompense thee."

First Proposition: We should pray in secret, in our inner chamber.

We should pray shut in alone with God, the world shut out. There is a temptation when prayer is offered in the presence of others to think of what observers are thinking of us. True prayer is taken up with God, not with men. The danger Christ is guarding against in this passage is ostentatious piety, or hypocrisy — praying to be seen of men. The Heavenly Father is "thy Father which is in secret," "Thy Father which seeth in secret."

Everyone should have a secret place to meet God, a place where he is absolutely alone with God. Mark 1:35 — "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Matthew 14:23 — "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." (See also Luke 6:12; 9:28.)

Second Proposition: Jesus went apart from others to pray.

The primary purpose of His seeking this place to pray seems to have been that He might be alone with God. The mountains were His "secret" place.

Moreover, the mountains in their majesty seem to bring God wonderfully near to us and us wonderfully near to God. Acts 16:25 — "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them."

Third Proposition: The prisoner should pray in prison.

Doubtless some of the most acceptable and effective prayers that God has ever heard have ascended to Him from prison cells. Prayer transforms a prison cell into a portal of heaven. Jonah 2:2 RV Margin — "I called by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD and he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, and thou heardest my voice."

Fourth Proposition: We should pray in the very jaws of death. John 17:1 — "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee." (See the context.)

Fifth Proposition: We should pray in the assembly of believers. Acts 27:35 — "And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all; and when he had broken it, he began to eat." (See context.)

Sixth Proposition: We should pray in the presence of the unsaved.

In doing so we must guard against praying to be seen and heard by men.

By far the greater part of our praying should be in secret. But there should be public acknowledgement of our sense of dependence upon God. 1 Timothy 2:8 RV — "I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing."

Seventh Proposition: We should pray in every place.