“Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven… But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (KJV, Matt. 6:1, 3-4).
“Take heed that you do not your alms before men”
Father, I thank You, for You have given me so much. You have been so generous to me, and no matter what I give to You and for Your cause, I could never repay the generosity that You have shown me. You have given me life. I do not deserve life. I do not deserve to be living and breathing today. Based on how I have lived, the Bible tells me that I actually deserve death. I committed great sins, and Your Word tells me that the wages that I deserve for committing these sins is nothing short of death.
But that is not the end of the story. While I deserve death, You have given me life. You have given Your Son as a ransom price and an atonement for my sin. You have given Your only Begotten that I would be called a child of God and a co-heir with Christ. Your generosity is incomparable and unfathomable.
I pray that You would help me to be generous in a way that is pleasing in Your sight. Father, I pray that You would work in my heart and teach me to give my alms as a cheerful giver.
“to be seen of them”
I find a law waging war within my heart. I find that there are times when I would seek to do spiritual things to be seen of men. I see times in which I am not much different than the Pharisees. Father, I pray that You would get ahold of me. Mold my heart into a pleasing vessel for honorable use.
Father, I recognize that pride is still present within me and that the fear of man continues to grip me. I see that when I give, there are times when I desire that someone would notice. I sense the temptation to bring up my giving in casual conversation. Father, teach me to be humble. Teach me to give in a way that is pleasing in Your sight.
“otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven”
I also see in Your Word the way in which You reward Your children. I am unworthy of the least of Your rewards, but nevertheless I see that You give them, and I desire that I would have them. Please help me to align myself with Your Word and to place myself in a position to receive the rewards that You have so graciously offered.
I see that when I practice my alms to be seen of men, I will not gain the reward that You desire to give to me. Please guard my heart, Lord, and teach me to give for Your eyes to see. I also recognize that what You are commanding is more of a heart attitude than anything else.
“But when thou doest alms”
Father, You have told me through Christ that giving is not an option. You tell me, “…when thou doest alms,” as though I will be doing alms. I pray that my heart would be pliable in this area. I pray that I would give to my local church and that You would also lead me in other directions of giving as well.
I sense within my heart a tendency toward the love of money. In the parable of the sower, I see seed that fell along many different surfaces. There was seed that fell along the path, seed that fell on rocky ground, seed that fell among thorns, and seed that fell on good soil.
When the seed fell among the thorns, Jesus told me that this is the one who hears the Word of God. However, both the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word out. The result is that the seed proves to be unfruitful.
I pray that You would help me to be fruitful. I pray that the Word that has been planted in my heart would not get choked out by the deceitfulness of riches. Teach me, Lord, to be a generous person and to honor You in my giving.
Paul has said elsewhere that it is the love of money that is a root of all kinds of evil. If the root is bad, the fruit will be, as well. Rid me of sinful desires concerning money. Your Word tells me that I cannot serve both You and money. I need help in this area, as this sin can creep into my heart so subtly. I desire to serve You and You alone. Your Word has also told me that wherever my treasure is, there will my heart be, as well. Teach me to give. Teach me to lay up treasures in heaven and to honor You in my life.
“let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret”
You are worthy of worship, honor, glory, and adoration. You are deserving of my obedience and my devotion. I pray that my giving would be secretive, Lord. I pray that my giving would be so secretive that even my left hand would not know what my right hand is doing.
I also see that You have commanded that my prayer life would be done for Your eyes only. I sense the same temptation in my heart in this area as I do with the area of giving. Please lead me not into temptation, Lord, but I pray that You would deliver me from evil. I also see that You have commanded that I would not fast before men to be seen by them. Work in my heart, Lord, and teach me to honor You in my fasting, as well.
“and thy Father which seeth in secret”
I see in this portion of Scripture a glimpse into the reality that You are present everywhere at all times. I also see a glimpse into the reality that You know all things. No matter where I try to hide, Lord, You are there.
I thank You that You take note of the good that I do and that You also desire to reward me for such things. I thank You that You are with me no matter where I go and that You will never leave me nor forsake me. I thank You that You are with me in secret and that, no matter how alone I may feel at times, You are there.
“himself shall reward thee openly”
Once again, Father, I praise Your name. You are worthy to be adored, and I pray that Your name would be hallowed. I pray that You would help me to remember that You will reward me for the works that I have done while in the body of Christ.
I thank You that You will not hold my sins against me in the final judgment. I thank You that my sins have been paid for on the cross. I thank You that Jesus’ shed blood has paid for the remission of my sins. I thank You that in the judgment, I only have good things coming my way and that the rewards that I gain from You will be based on my good deeds, not my bad deeds.
Teach me to live a life of worship. Teach me to remember and to think on eternity. Develop within me an eternal mindset in which I see myself as a pilgrim in this life, merely passing through. Teach me to advance toward the Celestial City each day of my life. Teach me to walk in the footsteps of my Savior, and conform me to the image of Christ.
I pray that as I do this, You would take note of the good that I do and reward me as You have said that You would. Mold my heart, Lord, I pray. I know I need Your help, and I cannot do this without You. In Jesus’ name, Amen