“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 exploring what our invitation to prayer entails, it is important to not only know when we are supposed to pray, but where as well. There are many different occasions for prayer because we are called to do it continuously. Some that come to mind are around a dinner table with family, at church and before large events like basketball games. These are all public opportunities to share in talking with the Lord, but He also calls us to pray individually and intimately with Him.
That intimacy is what Matthew 6:6 refers to when we are called to go into our rooms and pray alone. In context, Jesus was commanding the people to not pray standing in the synagogues or on street corners with the intent to be seen by others. We see he was concerned with the attitude of their hearts. In the same way, we are called to pray not so that others will think highly of us, but rather we pray for the reward of being in relationship with God Most High.
So where should we pray? Does it have to be alone in our bedrooms?
The simple answer is no.
We are called to pray continually so we may find ourselves praying in many places – work, school, soccer games, home, etc. However, what the Lord is addressing here in this passage is that we should make time to be alone with Him. There is a close intimacy in our relationships with Him that can only be had one-on-one with the Lord.
Jesus modeled this relationship during His life and ministry on earth. Luke 5:16 says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Mark 1:35 also points out that “very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Do we have to pray early in the morning? The answer is not necessarily. God is ultimately concerned with our hearts so whether we pray to Him morning, noon or night, what is important is making that time to be alone with Him.
In the words of Psalm 19:14, “May these words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
This week as we continually seem to get caught up in the busyness and responsibilities of life, remember to make time to spend in relationship with our Rock and Redeemer. Just like any close relationship takes time and effort, growing in intimacy with the Lord requires making time to hear His voice as well.
So wherever you find yourself, call on the name of the Lord with confidence full of humility. Remember that He wants to be in a personal relationship with you.
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