Prayer is Rewarded First before it is Answered

“Pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee” Matthew 6:6

All too often we lay stress on having prayer answered. Yet here the Lord Jesus emphasizes having prayer rewarded. How do we know this? Because the same word “recompense” used here is used again, with no petition implied, in verse 2 concerning alms and in verse 16 concerning fasting. Judged by its context, the recompense promised refers to a reward to be received in the future. What this tells us is that prayer answered is secondary, while prayer rewarded is primary. If our prayer is in accordance with the mind of God, it will not only be answered here. More important than that, it will be remembered in the future at the judgment seat of Christ, for reward.

Prayer is primarily communion with God for the manifesting of his glory. The hypocrites in this passage turn the things that should glorify God to the service of their own glorification. They pray in public places for men to applaud and love it. What is happening? They are praying merely to be seen by others, not to he heard by God, and the motive determines the outcome. These people find their reward where they looked for it, in the praise of men. The recompense reserved in the kingdom to come, they miss altogether. They never really sought it.

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