Read: Matthew 6:5-8
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8 ESV)
Jesus taught his followers that it was hypocritical to make prayer a fancy public display. He urged that the most sincere form of personal prayer was conducted in privacy. No matter in what form, or location, a prayer is offered God knows our need before we ask.
I have seen this regularly played out in my relationship with my wife. She will go to the store and come home with something I needed or wanted before I have even had a chance to ask her to get it. How does she know? Because we spend time together, we communicate, and she knows my desires. God knows what we need, what we want, and the best timing to come through. He really wants us to talk to him about it, even though he knows, because it demonstrates intimacy and trust. We don’t have to boldly, publicly, or weirdly declare our needs.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t pray in public. I think there is something pretty amazing about corporate prayer when we are joined together with other believers. The point is to make the act of praying about connecting with God; communicating your desires, praying for the needs of others, and offering thankfulness and praise for what God has already done. Prayer is a powerful thing. Our Father really does know what we need.