“When you pray, go into a room alone and shut the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6, CEV
“We are to be shut out from men, and shut in with God.”
Prayer is a deep and awesome thing. And yet in a sense our physical life must have cheeseburgers and spaghetti. Food powers us, and we are fueled by it’s energy. Prayer is also necessary to propel us, for it is our spirit’s nourishment.
We cannot survive without food. We see pictures of emaciated children in some African country, and they are just skin and bones. It is a sick evil. But there are Christians who are like this spiritually. They are starving because they are not praying.
Jesus told His followers, to go into a room alone. Then shut the door. We must learn that God is in the secret. If we should meet with Him, we must be as secretive. “Shut the door,” what happens in there is not for public display. We must be quite discrete in our times with Him.
When I was at in my first year at Bible school, I heard a guest speaker teach from Matt. 6:6. I was pumped up by it, praying with the door shut was a new idea for me. When I got to my dorm room, I went straight for my closet to put this new revelation into action. Kneeling there in the closet, with the door slid shut, I tried to pray. And after a bit I fell asleep, still on my knees.
About an hour later I woke up with a start. I had no idea where I was, and in my disorientation I slid open the closet door with a loud bang. I tried to stand, but my legs couldn’t support me. I lurched out in the room and fell in a pile. My roommate was startled to say the least. He had been in the room studying quietly by himself, when suddenly this ‘wildman’ burst out of the closet and immediately collapsed. It was hysterical!
So much for my first attempt at praying in secret.
The quest for spiritual growth will have to lead us into the closet.
The injunction to close the door can be understood in a variety of ways. The act of isolating ourselves is a physical one. But we must understand we need to shut up all our social entanglements and obligations. We isolate ourselves so we can be intimate with Him.
We just need to figure out just how we are to do this. We shouldn’t give up when it doesn’t bring wondrous results. We are all students in this, we will advance at times, and then retreat. But every second in the closet can be an intimate blessing to our souls.
“He that loveth little prayeth little; he that loveth much prayeth much.”