Matthew 6:5-6 and Public Prayer


Hey everyone. I am concerned about something. I am concerned about public prayer. It would seem that Matthew 6:5-6 prohibits public prayer but I don’t think that is possible since the Mass is a public prayer (semi-public at least). Also, people post the prayers they are praying for others in the prayer intentions forum all the time. So, if it doesn’t prohibit public prayer then what is it saying? Please help.

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
(Matthew 6:5-6 NAB)


Its a lesson on pride and humility. The Pharisees like to be seen in public and took pride in their holiness in and out of the synagogue - that they were better than everyone else.

Prayer should be said in humility not pride.
Not to glorify yourself in public.


Oh okay. So basically it’s about humility. So as long as one is humble its okay to pray in public like putting your prayers in the prayer threads in the prayer intentions forum, right?


Yes. As long as the purpose of our public prayer is to praise/thank/petition God, rather than to show off our supposed piety, we are not sinning.


Oh alright cool. Thank you.


One of our Masses was actually interrupted by a man who stood up and loudly read this passage from his Bible during the few moments of silence after Communion.

The congregation ignored him, except for an usher asking him to leave.

I’m sure that man didn’t realize it, but he was doing exactly what Jesus said we shouldn’t do: standing up in a place of worship so that others may see him and essentially proclaiming that he was more pious than the rest of us.


And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.

hu324 answered the question; I just wanted to add some support to that answer.


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