1 Timothy 2:8I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Should prayer be kept private or can it be done in publick? For various reasons, some believers have grown increasingly concerned about the appropriate places to call upon the Lord. In Matthew 6:5-6, the Lord rebuked the publick prayers of the hypocrites and suggested that His people should enter into their closets to pray. The Lord Himself followed this pattern by seeking a “solitary place” in which to pray (Mark 1:35). Does this mean that the Lord opposed all publick prayer? It is important to consider the whole counsel of God. Obviously the Lord was not displeased with the publick prayer meeting held by believers in the early church – He answered their prayer by freeing Peter (Acts 12:12). Furthermore, the Lord expressed His will – for men to “pray every where.”
∙ (For children): Sometimes Jesus prayed when He was all alone (Matthew 14:23). Sometimes He prayed out loud in front of others. For example, He prayed publickly on the cross (Luke 23:34) and before He fed the 5,000 (John 6:11). We should be able to pray alone or aloud when the need arises. Could you pray aloud for a sick friend?
∙ (For everyone): Why did the Lord rebuke the publick prayer of the hypocrites? Why would the Lord disapprove of the publick prayer of those who refuse to pray in private?
∙ Why is it important that God’s people pray in places other than those which are solitary? Why is it important that we pray together? Why is it important that we pray in publick?
∙ Ask the Lord to give you a strong private prayer life.
∙ Ask God to help you not be ashamed to pray in publick.