Matthew 6:6 Meaning of Verse and Simple Commentary

Matthew 6:6
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 6:6

Much of the content of the sermon on the mount centers around the secret heart. One who does the activities of religion on display for the praise of man will not receive any reward but what he has already received, having achieved his purpose to be seen. Since God is not the reason for the prayers, fasting, and giving, God has no reward to give for these things. The troubling thing is that those who engage in religion for the praise of man, are not always consciously aware of this fact, but they are aware enough to be held accountable for it.

The man-pleaser in us is what must die in order for us to truly live, and to gain our Father in heaven with the rewards he has set aside for us. He has stored up pleasures and recompense beyond what we can imagine for those whose hearts are fully devoted to him (Rev 22:12). Prayer in secret is an incredible privilege that is too often neglected by even well-meaning, but weak Christians. First, we get the privilege of being with our Father in heaven. Only he completely knows what we will receive at his hand in those moments with him, the answered prayers and the blessings. Second, we gain peace from his presence, and from casting our cares upon him (1 Pt 5:7). He loves us and will bear our burdens when we pray to him. Third, we often receive the answers to our prayers as we learn to pray according to his will, by faith, in the name of his Son, Jesus.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 6:6

#1 “But…”
After explaining that we must not pray like the hypocrites, in order to be seen, Jesus begins to describe the proper way to pray.

#2 “…when you pray,”
Prayer should be considered a must. Jesus does not say, “if” you pray, but rather, “when” you pray. It is a profound privilege to come before the throne of God by way of the blood of Christ (Heb 10:19-20).

#3 “go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father,”
This does not need to be a literal room. Anywhere one can pray to God in secret will suffice. Jesus most often climbed hills and prayed outside. The closed door is more likely referring to the door of your heart. Pray your prayers between you and God, and it will be seen as faith. This does not mean that we aren’t allowed or advised to pray corporately (Mt 18:19), but one must understand that there will be challenges when we do. It will be more difficult to refrain from praying to receive attention, difficult, but not impossible.

#4 “who is unseen.”
God the Father is a spirit. He has no form, and no one has seen him (1 Jn 4:12), nor can see him and live.

#5 “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret,”
Unlike satan, God the Father is omnipresent. He sees what is done in secret, and even knows the secrets of a person’s heart.

#6 “will reward you.”
There is great reward in merely knowing God and being allowed to come to him by faith. According to Jesus, he will add to that answers to prayer, and a reward in heaven.

Expert Overview of Matthew Ch. 1-13

Biblical Translations of Matthew 6:6

NIV
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

NLT
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

ESV
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

KJV
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

NKJV
“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.”

Matthew 6:6 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.