“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” Matthew6:6 (NKJV)
Continuing with the subject of “secret place”, let us now look at the prayer of a child of God. Remember the Lord talked about the prayer of the pharisee, the prayer of the heathen. and in this verse, He makes a contrast.
The Lord gave me a few insights (or what my friend would call revelations) while studying this chapter especially this verse. Here, I will give out a few of them:
1) Now he said to them( His disciples) “BUT YOU”. Here we have the Father’s “distinction”. The father differentiates between the prayers of the hypocrite, the prayers of the heathen and the prayers of His children. the idea here is: inasmuch as God’s children have a different relationship with God, their prayers are likewise expected to be different. Our Father takes the position: truly as His children, we are not going to pray like the hypocrite, we are not going to pray like the heathen (verse 5). We are naturally going to pray like a child of God. In other words, our prayers are different, they are differently motivated, have a different objective, a different method, a different basis. There is bound to be a distinction between true children of God and the hypocrite or the heathen.
2) “WHEN YOU PRAY” here we see our Father’s “expectation”. Notice it doesn’t say “if” you pray but “when” you pray. The Father expects His children to communicate with Him. It’s not a matter of mere option, not if you pray, in case perchance you pray. NO! it’s when you pray. We read in James4:2b “yet , you do not have because you do not ask”. Our father expects that we ask. In Matthew 6:8 “…Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him”. Well , why ask if He already knows what we need? When we pray for our personal needs we are not praying in order to inform God. We are praying because we have an honest desire. God expects us to ask, even though He knows what we need in order:
- to keep us aware of our dependence upon God whom we would otherwise take for granted and even forget , days without number
- to enable God to demonstrate His goodness and faithfulness to us, what would otherwise remain unrecognized
- to satisfy His heart by our thankful expressions of praise for His bountiful provisions.
God wants to keep us aware of our dependence upon Him. Suppose God did not institute the principle of prayer: suppose He simply throws our way everything we need without our asking, we would loose every sense of our dependence on God, we would take God so for granted that He wouldn’t get credit for supplying our needs. God does not like to be taken for granted, so He moves through the avenue of prayer to keep us in constant realization that we are dependent upon HIM.
3) ” GO INTO YOUR ROOM” this is our Father’s “direction” that we should do our praying in a secret place where we are unobserved, undisturbed, undistracted. ( here i’m only talking about personal prayer and not corporate/church prayer) . there prayers that should only be prayed in private. there is need for going to the closet. The closet is simply intended to be a secret place ; we don’t want to have our devotions observed by other people. This is not always easy. It depends on our homes’ conditions, but very, very often it’s amazing how we can find a place to pray.We can find a secret closet of prayer in the midst of a public place, on a plane, a hotel, a class, walking the streets in a crowd-we can withdraw in our spirit into our own little closet( or what I call cathedral) and though surrounded by people, in there our spirit is withdrawn in communion with God.
4) “AND WHEN YOU HAVE SHUT YOUR DOOR” this is our Father’s ” Suggestion” that we really need to make conscience effort to be undisturbed. when you have children in the house, if the door is open, they run in and out, if the door is shut there is a better chance for privacy. escape the T.V turn off the telephone, the computer, the ipod – it is the shutting of the door; making a conscience effort, as much as we can for the time of our devotion.
5) ” AND PRAY TO YOUR FATHER” notice what Jesus did not say. He did not say ” and pray to your God” He said ” pray to your father”. This is an important distinction. When it comes especially to my personal needs, clothing, food, money, health; I have found out that it is better to pray to the father than it is to pray to God. You maybe asking ” well..isn’t God and father the same person?” Of course He is! however the difference is this( I hope you understand me on this) God is God of all people, sinners and saints, believers and heathens – a god of everyone. They don’t recognize Him as such, but He is God just the same. BUT, He is the father only to those who believe. God has an obligation to us; His children, which He does not have to those who are not His children. What Jesus is saying here is that our prayers; prayers for our personal needs, ought to be based on our personal relationship to God as our heavenly Father. Do you ever spread your needs out before the Lord? a bill, a problem, a personal need that you have? “Father”. It is amazing what the heavenly father will do. HE CARES.
6)”PRAY TO YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN THE SECRET PLACE” the other day I wrote about the “abiding presence” of our God. Now here comes the other side of the coin. We don’t have to feel the Presence of God to know that He is with us. ” And your father who is the secret place”. We don’t walk by feeling, we walk by Faith. I have lots of feelings, I feel and enjoy the presence of God, but there are times when God withdraws it. It doesn’t or shouldn’t make any difference, when I can’t feel him, i have his word ” I will never leave you nor forsake you”. When you go to the secret place you may not feel like praying, it may feel like God is a million miles away. Assure your heart that your father is present. God is with us because He says he is with us- It is a sheer act of faith. Be assured that He is there, be assured that He hears, be assured that He sees.
7) ” WHO SEES IN SECRET” this is our Father’s ” observation”. sometimes when I’m in distress I go to Exodus 3 where God says ” …I have seen their affliction…I have heard their cries….I know their sorrows “. This to me is a marvelous picture of the awareness which God has of our needs, He “sees”, “hears” and “knows”. When you go alone into your closet, don’t wait for a feeling, acknowledge his word that he is there and build your prayer on that.
“SHALL REWARD YOU OPENLY” now this is our father’s “disposition” This is the confidence that we have that when we pray He hears and answers our prayers. Our Father, as a father, has a father’s heart and he is always ready to respond to our requests.
Let us befriend our prayer closets, the places where we commune with ,”papa” with our father! A lot can and will happen there!
Posted on March 2nd, 2011 by mrsmatara
Filed under: Uncategorized