Pray in secret (Mt 6:6-6:6)

“But when you pray,

Go into your room!

Shut the door!

Pray to your Father,

Who is in secret.

Your Father,

Who sees in secret

Will reward you.”

 

σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ, εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου πρόσευξαι τῷ Πατρί σου τῷ ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ· καὶ ὁ Πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἀποδώσει σοι.

 

This is another saying of Jesus, only found in Matthew, that carries on with the theme of secrecy, but this time it is about prayer.  When the followers of Jesus were to pray (σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ), they should go into their room (εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου) and shut the door (καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου).  They were to pray to their Father (πρόσευξαι τῷ Πατρί σου) in secret (ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ).  Like in the almsgiving, their Father would be able to see them in secret (καὶ ὁ Πατήρ σου ὁ βλέπων ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ).  Thus, he would also reward them (ἀποδώσει σοι), so that their reward would be in heaven, not here.  Why all this secrecy?  Were they afraid of being persecuted for something?