By Pastor Andy Plank
A prayer closet is a personal thing
While reading Scripture recently, I paused over this verse, "But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father in secret," Matthew 6:6. One of the things we seem to forget about prayer, as well as other spiritual disciplines, is that the motive of such disciplines is not to be seen of men, rather it is to commune with God. I read a good quote by Oswald Chambers that reminds us when we pray “Your eyes be upon God, not upon men". Get into an “inner chamber” in which to pray where no one knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret. Have no other motive than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of private prayer. I know we lead busy lives, but we need to realize that we are too busy NOT to pray! Jesus goes on, "But when you pray use not vain repetitions…" (v.7). Sometimes our prayer life seems less than satisfactory because the prayer we pray is not a prayer from a sincere heart, but rather, it is simply a vain (useless) repetition of what we have heard someone else pray. We also need to remember that prayer is not simply getting things from God. Prayer is getting into communion with God. If the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us (and He is if we have been born again, from above), He will lead us into that communion with the Father and He will change our attitude concerning the things about which we pray. A simple, childlike trust that just wants to talk to and talk with the Father is the mindset with which we need to enter our prayer closet. James reminds us that we have not, because we ask not. Understand that if we pray with that attitude in our hearts, God who sees all things clearly, may or may not answer our prayers with the answer we are seeking. After all, God is not our "prayer genie" (three wishes and poof). God will get us where He wants us to go and one of the ways He does this is through our prayer lives. Why don't you try going somewhere alone with God and have a conversation? I promise nothing bad will happen, as a matter of fact, if you are sincere in your desire to improve your prayer life, God will lead you right along. To borrow a phrase from several years ago. "Try it, you'll like it".
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Andy