May 25 I Tuesday
1 Chronicles 25-27
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” —Matthew 6:6
The most important part of the Christian life is the sustaining of our communion with God. Prayer brings us knowledge of Him and from Him; it conveys our worship, praise and love for God as well as God’s reception to us with all that He pours into our lives. What Jesus does in the Sermon on the Mount is strip us of every means of dependency outside of Himself, which is why He tells us to go into our room, close the door and––in our solitude––pray to God in that secret place.
The late theologian and author Henri Nouwen wrote, “Prayer is no easy matter. It demands a relationship in which you allow someone other than yourself to enter into the very center of your person, to see there what you would rather leave in darkness, and to touch there what you would rather leave untouched.”
Some of us are frightened of this sense of intimacy with God and want to keep everything buried inside of us as a protection or defence mechanism. When God wants to go deeper and deal with the strongholds in our lives, the best defence against that is not to pray. But, we must remember, nothing is hidden from God. The one place we can be absolutely disarmingly honest is alone with God. He will not be shocked by what we disclose and it will not be out of His depth.
If our Christian lives are purely about being good people and doing the right things, we will have little to say to God because there is no relationship with God. There is no depth in our hearts that is shared with Him. Yet, God’s concern is about our internal working––the secret place of our lives where He can meet with us. It is from this spiritual place that everything else in our lives emanates.
Jesus gives us an invitation to the secret place, where we can be alone with God. It may not be a literal room with a door we close, but it is a place in our hearts reserved for Him. All the external work we engage in will be robbed of its power if we do not have the secret place where we commune with God. This is where our hearts are most earnest and genuine, which is what opens the door for deeper fellowship with God and paves the way for His working in our lives. Effective Christian living depends on intimate union, derived from the secret place within our hearts of which we can say, “Only God and I hold the key.”
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the privilege of always having access to You through Jesus Christ. Thank You for seeing the depths of my heart and still choosing to love me.