Read: Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you
Reflect: Jesus’ supernatural ability to present deep and rich truths about spiritual living is unleashed in this passage. He gives what seems to be a small framework for prayer without any real sense of the magnitude of the message. It is so simple we often pass over it, yet when we allow His words to direct us they build a pathway of intimacy to the Father’s heart. He tells us alone is good, private praying is better than public praying. Praying by yourself is better than praying in a crowd. He tells us to “go away by yourself,” to pray away from the noise and the clamor. As in many of the things Jesus says, there is a wealth of wisdom and insight to be found when we drill down into His words.
Jesus understands relationships and intimacy, particularly as it pertains to His Father. Jesus knows that relationships can grow and flourish only so much in public and then they need privacy to build intimacy. This is what we naturally do with our closest friends and family. We initially build our relationships with others around us, often in public places, but as they grow closer we desire time alone. Time to build depth, to talk and to listen to each other alone, away from the noise of life and the interruptions that can so quickly end an intimate conversation. That is exactly Jesus’ point here. Get alone and close the door if you desire to grow deep with God. There is one word that defines all Jesus is saying here, intimacy. God hungers for intimacy with people. He is searching for people who will get alone and position themselves to receive from Him. Intimacy is where God imparts deep, secret truths from His heart. Truths that are available to each of us who obey Jesus’ direction.
Praying on the go is great, but it will never create the opportunity for you to be still and know God.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Stillness is essential to intimacy with God because it is His voice we hunger to hear. It is as I Kings 19:12 tells us, “A still small voice” that God often uses to speak to us. It is difficult to listen for that voice when we are interrupted by the chaos of life.
What Jesus is saying is that it is impossible to build intimacy without hearing God’s voice and His voice is often only found when we are alone. The word Psalm 46:10 uses for still is also interpreted as cease, or cease striving. This Psalm is about war and fighting, the battle of life. Not unlike what you and I face each day in the constant rush and pressure of our lives. It is here that we need to stop and get alone and allow God to speak. It is letting God speak that will build depth, relationship and intimacy you have never had before.
Father, I find it so difficult to stop and make time to be alone with you. I see now that I am missing your Heart and it is your Heart that I long for. Holy Spirit draw me to times alone with the Father. Put a hunger in my heart to pray.