5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 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. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Dear God, this verse always gives me pause when I consider the fact that I am publishing my prayers to you for others to see. My original motivation was to inspire others to take scripture and apply it to their daily lives. But does any pride sneak in here as I write these and publish them for others to see? Do I hope people are reading them and impressed with my spiritual insights? Do I hope they think more of me because of it? The answer to all three of these is yes. Yes, there is a part of me that gets some amount of pride through the responses of others. But I can honestly say that that is not my motivation for posting them. My motivation is to try to show other Christians that it is possible to take scripture and allow it to transform your life on an almost daily basis.
I actually stopped publishing these altogether for a while. In addition to publishing them online each day, I also have a few close friends, including my wife, to whom I email them. But earlier this year I stopped doing that. I wanted to spend some time writing to you and praying to you in complete private. I found that it wasn’t as much about not letting them see me pray as much as it was about feeling like I was changing what I was praying because I knew others were reading. I was letting the publishing impact the praying and that is where I cross the line.
Father, I want to pray to you with all earnestness, and then show others my failings and not my strengths. I want to be vulnerable and transparent in my life so that they will be able to better come to peace and complete submission to you. I also want to continue in my path of complete submission. Help me to decrease as you increase in my life. Help me to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow you. Help me to do it all for your glory’s sake.