Jesus instructed his followers that when they pray, they are to pray in secret. Read Matthew 6:6 and see how he tells his followers to pray specifically.
But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
In what manner does Jesus want us to pray? He wants us to pray in secret.
If we follow this instruction, what did Jesus promise? He will actually reward us?! What do you think that could mean?
Corporate prayer has always been an important part of religious life. There is something special when a member of God’s people stands up and prays where the rest of the congregation can engage and join in the prayers. While that type of prayer has its place, Jesus also wanted to have believers experience prayer that is only heard by God Himself. Why? Read Matthew 6:1 for a hint.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Oftentimes, people reserve their greatest acts of holiness so that others can see it. And if we offer prayers so that others are impressed, God is not impressed. In fact, if you offer religious service to impress others, you have just lost your reward from God.
A very simple test to check your motives is this:
I pray more when: [ ] I am alone [ ] I am around others
I worship more when: [ ] I am alone [ ] I am around others
I study the Bible more when: [ ] I am alone [ ] I am around others
Check your motives, and take some time to pray — really pray — in secret with your Father in heaven.