Matthew 6:5-6 NKJV
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Some people have thought that Jesus taught that we should not to be seen praying. However, He did not say we should not be seen praying. Otherwise He would have been a bad example Himself. In Matthew 6:5, He spoke against those who were praying to be admired by others. Jesus even told His followers to pray in a closed room where only God would know what they were saying. Secret prayer, He said, would result in open reward. However, again, He was teaching an attitude. If we ever feel like we want to pray to be seen, then it may be a good idea for us to hide and do it until we get our motives right. Prayer should not be resigned to a physical location. We can and should pray at all times and everywhere we go. We should not go out of our way to hide when we are praying. Jesus prayed publicly. That’s how we have record in the gospels of some of the prayers He prayed. It’s alright to be seen praying as long as we are not praying to be seen. If we pray to show others how spiritual we are, how smart we are or some other self-exaltation purpose, the admiration we receive will be the extent of our reward. If we want God to hear and answer our prayer we need to be sincere and pray from our hearts directly to God. There are cases when we should be seen praying as we set examples for our children and others. However, when we pray, we need to direct our prayers to God in sincerity. It is possible for us to say a prayer we want others to hear more than we want God to hear it. Prayer is not to be used as a tool to teach or correct others. It is communication with God.