5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Most of us appreciate a little attention and there’s nothing wrong with being appreciated. But when we cherish the praises of men more than we cherish the praises of God, then we have a problem. We like the noise that comes from the applause of men more than the applause of heaven. Who’s glory are you seeking yours or His? But Christianity is not an attention getting religion, it’s an attention-GIVING relationship. Whose attention are you seeking? I think so often we stay away from time alone with God because we are afraid of the silence. If we are honest we are addicted to the noise and distractions. We have become an ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) society. We are so afraid of the silence that we chase ourselves from one activity to the next in order to keep busy so we don’t have to spend a moment alone with ourselves.
Jesus invites us to find a place to get alone with God where we can shut the world out and let Him in. Where is your room, your secret place, are you ready to close the door on the world and open up your room to God? In the quiet we hear His voice, we enjoy fellowship with Him. We need to take the time to talk to God, but also allow Him to talk to us. What we find in the secret place, is silence and solitude, where we can pray without distractions.
Silence is not to be shunned as empty space, but to be befriended as fertile ground for intimacy with God. Its motivating desire is to be free from the addiction to noise so we can be totally focused on the Lord; to open ourselves to God in a place beyond noise. Solitude involves scheduling enough uninterrupted time in a distraction-free environment that you experience isolation and are alone with God. We see isolation as a prison experience yet it provides freedom for our heart and mind. Solitude is a regenerative practice of being in His presence.
Jesus taught that prayer starts with our Father. Will you close the door on the world and go into your room of silence and solitude and be alone with God? Jesus invites you into the secret place.