It’s not often that reading the Bible has made me stop doing something considered virtuous, but when I read Matthew 6: 5-6 it made me almost completely stop praying in public. I still do on rare and special occasions, but for the most part, thanks to those verses, when I pray it’s when I’m completely alone. And I think that’s the best way to do it. No distractions and no expectations.
When you pray in public, and especially if it’s a big group, most people tend to shy away from praying directly to God for specific needs and praises, but rather they try to include everyone and make their requests in a more broad and general sort of way. And that’s okay, but I think the best prayers are the most private ones, and very seldom do you hear that kind of intimacy in a public prayer. When’s the last time you were in church and heard, “Dear God, I’m sorry for swearing at that guy who cut me off in traffic yesterday.” or “God I’m sorry about looking at Bill’s wife last Sunday.” or “God, please help me with my flatulence problem.”
When I do my best praying, I’m usually taking a walk in the early A.M. It’s usually dark, and it’s early enough that I’m usually the only one out there. I can speak out loud and not feel self conscious about what I’m saying. It’s great. I would encourage everyone who reads this to find their own space where they can speak out loud to God and not have to hold back based on anyone else being in the room. Thank you for reading my 38th blog.