But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet
Or "chamber", a secret place, fit for private retirement, meditation, and prayer.
And when thou hast shut thy door;
see some such like phrases in ( Isaiah 26:20 ) where they are used to express security, here secrecy. Our Lord does not mean to exclude and condemn public prayer, in joining with few, or more persons, in such service; for he himself directs to it, and approves of it, ( Matthew 18:19 Matthew 18:20 ) but his view is to instruct persons that they should not only pray in public, but in private also; and especially the latter, which is more suitable and fitting for their particular cases, and less liable to pride, hypocrisy, and vanity.
Pray to thy Father, which is in secret;
who is invisible; not to be seen with the eyes of the body, but to be approached with a true heart, in faith and fear, through his Son Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and man; and who is the image of the invisible God, and in whom he is pleased to manifest himself to his people, so as he does not unto the world:
and thy Father, which seeth in secret,
observes and takes notice of the secret breathings, pantings, desires, and requests of thy heart and lips,
shall reward thee openly,
both here and hereafter; by pouring into thy bosom all the good things thou hast been praying for, both for time and eternity. This is agreeable to what the Jews sometimes say,
``that a man ought not to cause his voice to be heard in prayer; but should pray (vxlb) , "silently", with a voice that is not heard; and this is the prayer which is daily accepted F7.''
F7 Zohar in Gen. fol. 114. 4.