Today's Word of Encouragement
July 2, 2020
A SECRET PLACE
Thursday, July 02, 2020
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:6).
I am told that every Jewish house had a place for secret devotions. Sometimes this room would be an ‘add on’ to the side or back of the house, but most often it would be located on the roof, over the porch or entrance of the house. It was there the more religious Jews would go to offer his/her prayers, unseen and unheard by anyone.
It was to a place similar to this that Jesus directed His disciples to occupy when they wished to commune with God. It is a place commonly referred to in the New Testament as an ‘upper room’, or the place of secret prayer. It was most likely a place like this where Jesus and His disciples met for their last supper together.
The point Jesus tried to make to His hearers is that there should be some place where we may be alone with God, in secret, where there will be no interruptions, and where we can focus our full attention on our fellowship with Him in prayer. There should be some place where we can go where no ear will hear us but His, no eye can see us but His, and no heart may commune with us but His. Unless there is such a place, we will not give do diligence to our time with the Lord.
Finding such a place may not be easy because we are so busy with schedules, family, appointments, interruptions, etc. What’s the secret to having a ‘secret place’ with God? There is an old saying that goes something like this, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” If the desire to pray consumes our spirit, and the love of prayer motivates our heart, will create such places, multiple places, throughout our day.
If we really think about it, Jesus faced all the difficulties we face in the course of a day, yet He practice secret prayer constantly. To be alone, He got up very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He departed and went out to a desolate place, and there He prayed (Mark 1:35). An olive grove, a mountain, a garden, even the deserted wilderness provided Jesus with such places to pray. And even though He traveled around a lot, walked among strangers, and was without a house of His own, He lived in the habit of secret prayer.
What excuse can we have for not praying when we have homes or apartments, when we spend the early hours of the morning sleeping in, or when we will not practice self-denial so that we can be alone with God? I was told recently by a very busy man, “I just don’t have time to pray,” to whom I responded, “You must make time to pray. Satan will see too it that you won’t have the time. You must see to it that you do.”
“Father, I know it to be true that when I allow my schedule to dictate my life, I have very little time to spend time with You. When I get out of the habit of my quiet time with You, it becomes very difficult to get back in the habit of having that quiet time. But how sweet it is to spend that time with You in prayer and the reading of Your Word. May Your Holy Spirit so discipline my life that I will, in turn, discipline my time to meet with you daily for spiritual refreshing, renewing, and restoration. Amen.”