Sunday, November 4, 2007

Prayer (Updated)

"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." - Matthew 6:6

I have a confession to make. Lately I had been substituting blogging to my prayer time. It did not happen abruptly. It happened slowly ... a few minutes more here and there and before I know it, my "prayer time" ceased to exist. Sure I pray in the car, and yes I say my usual "breathe prayers" wherein after I tell someone I'd pray for him or her I quickly muttered "Lord, I pray for so and so, in Jesus name" and that was it. Yes, I practice "praying unceasingly" wherein throughout the day I will think of someone and something and I will "kind of pray". BUT.... there must be a time set aside for intimate commune with God - not a quickie prayer but a quality prayer, a prayer meant to foster relationship, to renew commitment, to express dependency and to embrace and love... it is mostly through quite times with God that I can hear His voice and know what his plans are for me...

To be continued...


Continued... I just read this from the book, and I found a website that published it:

Prayer— Battle in "The Secret Place"

When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly —Matthew 6:6

Jesus did not say, "Dream about your Father who is in the secret place," but He said, ". . . pray to your Father who is in the secret place. ."

Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.

We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, "This needs to be done, and I have to do that today." Jesus says to "shut your door."

Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. God is in secret, and He sees us from "the secret place"— He does not see us as other people do, or as we see ourselves. When we truly live in "the secret place," it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into "the secret place," and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything.

Unless you learn to open the door of your life completely and let God in from your first waking moment of each new day, you will be working on the wrong level throughout the day. But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and "pray to your Father who is in the secret place," every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God.

* from My Utmost For His Highest, August 23.


Karen said...

Ahh, less computer, more time with God. That goes for me too Liza. I'll pray for you and you pray for me.
Love you, Karen Johnson

Liza on Maui said...

Jen, I don't mind at all - in fact I'm honored you added me to your roll (I'm happy you did;)

Thia said...

I've been lurking along for a while, but I wanted to say that I needed this post, thank you.

Katrina said...

Me too. This post really convicted me. Thanks for sharing it! :)