The pressing need to be noticed by others is generally fatal to sustained and effective prayer.
Jesus alludes to this in chapter 6 of the gospel of Matthew, “whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.”
By contrast, the “hypocrites” “love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so they may be seen by others.”
Many struggle with the concept of prayer generally.
If your religious commitment is sustained by the approval gained from your peers and your community, prayer and intercession – hidden and thankless tasks from a purely human perspective – will be difficult.
The mind will find excuses, will believe what it must in order to rationalise away those things it finds offensive or onerous. Such are the marvels and mysteries of human nature; we see selectively, we choose what we believe.
The best pray-ers and intercessors are those who refuse to use prayer or ministry to placate their ego needs.
They have counted the cost.
They embrace a theology of prayer that doesn’t collapse under the pressure of shifting cultural moods.
They embrace obscurity as a gift and calling.