Prayer is an intimate experience of fellowship with your Creator. It involves the act of entering the presence of God. There is a prayer that gets rewarded.
In my youth, seasoned intercessors taught that God was not here nor there, but everywhere at once. In other words, God was omnipresent. King David wrote it was not possible to hide from God’s presence. David struggled to grasp the concept but accepted that his Creator was everywhere. He wrote,
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me” (Psalms 139:6-10 ASV).
Intimate prayer is not found in vain religious routine. Nor is it confined to a particular time or place. The question of where to pray was a controversial subject in Samaria. One day Jesus met a Samarian woman at a well. She perceived a prophet was talking with her, so she asked him about it. Christ answered,
“Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. Ye worship that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:19-24).
Jesus was clear, the true worshipper would worship the Father in spirit and truth. This meant that prayer was not to be limited by religious tradition to a particular place like a mountain, city, or even a specific time of day. Christ focused his disciples on developing an intimate prayer life.
One day Jesus taught about prayer closets. A prayer closet is a place of your choice where you get away from distraction and enter the presence of God. The prayer closet is your secret place of intimacy with the Holy Spirit. Your prayer closet can be anywhere and held at any time of day. I know some people that converted actual clothes closets into prayer closets. Others have their place of prayer kneeling in front of their living room sofa, in the bathtub, a quiet corner in the house, or in the car while commuting to work. The place of secret prayer does not matter; it is the special alone time spent with the Lord that matters.
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:5-6)
One of the secrets of effective prayer old-time intercessors taught us was to recognize the presence of God in prayer. This simple truth was vital to them. When you realize that God is not coming or going but is always present, makes prayer special. He is your refuge, strength, and very present help (Psalms 46:1).
Christ wanted his disciples to form an intimate prayer life. He taught to enter your prayer closet and shut the door behind you. In other words, get in that quiet place void of all distractions. It is hard to have an intimate time of fellowship with your Creator with the television blaring, baby crying, and the phone ringing.
When you enter your prayer closet, shut the door. Approach God in reverence alone with nothing competing for your attention. It is just you and him. When you get in that place, don’t pray some dead religious, traditional prayer, just be yourself and talk to God. “For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
Your prayer closet is the secret place. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalms 91:1). It is in the secret place you reverence God, develop intimacy with the Father, and share things you would never share with anyone else. That is why it is called a secret.
When you commune with the Holy Spirit in your prayer closet, God hears your prayer secrets and rewards you openly. That means he hears your prayer and answers in such a way that all can see that you have been with him. The intimate prayer in the secret place gets rewarded.
© Apostle Jonas Clark
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