Prayer to Your Father in Secret [30 Days of Prayer]

Summer of Prayer Ads_Banner“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.” (Matthew 6:6)

In contrast to the hypocrite of Matthew 6:5, who loves to have their prayers seen and heard in public places, Jesus tells His disciples that they should pray to their Father in secret. Because God is our Father, we are set free from the need to impress others in our prayer life. Instead, we can turn aside to the secret place of our lives to speak to Him.

Ironically, in Jesus’ time most of His hearers only had one-room houses, so it wasn’t like they had an extra secret room somewhere. While it can be helpful to literally have a prayer closet, Jesus emphasizes that we should go into some secret place where we can meet with God.

Jesus’ example shows us what the secret place with God looks like. We read in one part of the Gospels that Jesus had “no place to lay His head” (Luke 9:58). As a result, Jesus drew aside to be with God early in the morning (Mark 1:35), often in deserted places of solitude (Luke 5:16). Wherever He was, Jesus found a secret place where He could meet with His Father in secret.

At the same time, there was one place it seems Jesus often liked to draw away while in Jerusalem. That was the Mount of Olives. This was the place where Jesus prayed on the night of His betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-56). It was a special place of prayer for Him where He could meet with the Father.

Whether on the road with no place to lay His head or in a regular place like the Mount of Olives, Jesus’ reward in prayer was not the accolades of others but simply meeting with His Father.

If we are praying to our Father and not to the crowds of people around us, where is our secret place with God? Do you have a place where You can regularly meet with God in prayer? Is it your car, is it your office, is it literally a quiet nook or closet where you can talk with Him? Jesus assumes that we will pray – that’s why He says, “when you pray…” – so are we developing the secret life of prayer with Father God just like Jesus?

Father, I draw near to You
  in the secret and the quiet
of this place and time
  where You are found.
I want to tell You that You are my reward,
  and I love You more than others’ praise.
Make that even more true in my life
  than it is right now.
Grow me deeper with You in prayer,
  and call me back again and again
  into the secret place of prayer with You.

[This post is part of the “30 Days of Prayer” devotional. Read other posts here.]

30 Days of Prayer in June: Pray Where You Are [Summer of Prayer]

June prayer

This June at Eastbrook Church we begin our summer of prayer with 30 Days of Prayer.  I want to invite you to join us in covering every hour of every day in the month of June in prayer. We are doing this by inviting people to sign up for 15-minutes time slots of prayer. You can pray at work or at school, at home or on the bus. You can pray wherever they are.

Join in by signing up for a time-slot (or two) here. You don’t have to be a member of Eastbrook to join this initiative:

For inspiration, enjoy this song by the Lost Dogs, “Pray Where You Are.”

Jesus Praying in Difficulty

This week at Eastbrook, I concluded our series “Pray Like Jesus” with a message entitled “Jesus Praying in Difficulty” from John 17.

The main point of my message was that if we want to pray like Jesus then our life of prayer should be shaped what concerns Jesus in His life of prayer.

You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. I’ve included the outline for the message below:Read More »

Jesus on How We Should Pray

This week at Eastbrook, I continued our series “Pray Like Jesus” with a message entitled “Jesus on How We Should Pray” from Matthew 6:5-8. The main point of my message is that prayer is powerful because of our relationship with Father God.

You can listen to my message online at the Eastbrook web-site here. You can also follow Eastbrook Church on Twitter. I’ve included the outline for the message below:

Read More »