And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Again Jesus presses in and lay bare our desire to be seen by others. Praying to be seen and heard by men.. I have witnessed.. and participated in.. this kind of religious seduction that engages the darkest part of us. The desire to be seen is an insidious one.. many are duped by the enemy thinking that they are being "spiritual" when they are just being Pharisaical. Jesus says don't do it.
I once heard that the measure of a person is what they do when no one is looking. When everything else is stripped away we will pray in secret only if we really believe that God hears us. In a sense all other types of prayers can be rationalized away.. all other forms of prayer can be done for reasons outside of faith. Secret prayers bring a reality to bear where it is just us and God.. face to face.
Lastly, Jesus said "when you pray". I think that it is good to be reminded that believers pray.. it is in our spiritual DNA. And whether it is in secret or in public we should always simply pray from our heart.. keeping it real.. praying to that audience of One.
Lord give me a heart to pray when no one is looking.