Scripture Reading: Psalm 5
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Standing—not the posture but the motivation for the posture.
Closet—storage room, inner chamber. Praying outside a closet is not a problem, idea is using secrecy in prayer,
Private prayer should be private! Jesus withdrew in mountains.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Vain repetition—babble on and on. Senseless multiplication of words—rote repetition. Mechanical recitations.
Knows needs—you don’t have to repeat them, or make a bunch of noise to get His attention; He knows! Does not cancel out need for prayer.
Romans 8:26—the Spirit makes intercession, He knows what you’re saying! He aint deaf!
1 Kings 18:26-29
And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
Baal hear us—vain repetition, one phrase multiplied to get attention.
Beating yourself up is not necessary to get God’s attention either.
Mocked—deride with idea of deceive, gave them false mocking, sarcastic advice.
1 Kings 18:36-38
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.38 Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
At thy word—thy command, according to instructions.
Hear that people will come back—motivation was not him winning but saving people.
God hears you, question is: do you hear Him? You ask according to His will, according to His word. He does what He says He’s going to do.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
1 Timothy 2:1-6
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty [decorum, seriousness].3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
Quiet—tranquil, undisturbed, avoiding external disturbance
Peaceable—tranquility arising from within. Vincent—“keeping aloof from political agitation's”
--Both things would arise out of spending time in a closet!
One Mediator—having a God with no mediator does sinners no good. Angels, saints, pastors, are not the mediator. Christ is.
1 Timothy 2:7-8
Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity [truth].8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Everywhere—any place you are, possibly to public prayer. Holy hands—have done no wrong and carried out sacred duty. Doubting—disputing, debate, arguing, skeptical criticism.