Q: What is the secret for a great prayer life?
A: Quite simply, and without meaning to be glib, the secret to prayer is secret prayer!
The goal of prayer should never be the roaring approval of the crowds, but rather the approval of our Father who is in heaven. As Jesus so eloquently put it, "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 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." The secret to prayer is secret prayer.
Jesus provided the ultimate example. As Dr. Luke puts it, He "often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16). Unlike the religious leaders of His day, He did not pray to be seen by men. He prayed because He treasured fellowship with His Father. Hypocrites gain their reward through public prayer. They may be perceived as spiritual giants, but by the time they are finished, they have received everything they will ever get - their prayer's worth and nothing more.
Steeped in religious practices, these hypocrites tithed, fasted, and traveled "over land and sea" to win converts. They even prayed. And how! They prayed publicly in synagogues, and they prayed publicly on street corners. They even wore boxes on their foreheads containing pet prayers. Yet their motivation was not intimacy with God, but to be seen by men. Thus, said Jesus, "they have received their reward in full."
Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina-based Christian Research Institute International. He also hosts the Bible Answer Man radio program, which is broadcast daily across the United States and Canada—as well as around the world through the internet at www.equip.org
Reaching millions weekly through his live call-in radio broadcast, Hank answers questions about Christianity and religion on the basis of the Bible, careful research, and sound reasoning. Additionally, Hank regularly brings to his listening audience live interviews with Evangelicalism’s most significant leaders, apologists, and thinkers.
Hank came to faith in Jesus Christ after examining the scientific evidence for creation, the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, and the cumulative case for the divine inspiration of Scripture. With an uncommon intensity he immediately embarked on a rigorous course of Scripture study and memorization, and by the Lord’s grace and calling his heart ever since has been to equip others to know God in Christ.
With the release of his new book, The Last Disciple, a novel co-authored with Sigmund Brouwer, Hank reveals significant aspects of his highly anticipated 15-year study of the Bible’s teaching on the end times. In a spellbinding story of faith and fulfillment of prophecy, Hank and Sigmund initiate a series of novels in which they explore the lives of Christians who struggle to survive and spread the gospel during the climactic turbulence of “the last days.” Readers discover the "code" of Revelation as they begin to see it through the eyes of the persecuted believers to whom it was written.
Hank lives in North Carolina with his wife, Kathy and is the father of nine children.