Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Closet of Prayer

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:6"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." An interesting passage of scripture. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-8, that when we give or pray we are not to do as the hypocrites or the heathen do, either to be seen of men or to get the attention of God. I want to address prayer in this posting. This I believe, is the purpose of the closet of prayer. I wonder how many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ have a closet of prayer. 

We are living in the day when people coming out of the closet has become fashionable. Maybe if we emphasized the closet of prayer more there would be less people coming out of the closet. Prayer is work! I haven't ever found that my natural inclination is to give myself to prayer. I have read of various accounts where different one's have told of the "sweet hour of prayer," seeming to exult in it. In my own experience I have had to set aside a time for prayer and make myself pray. I don't say that prayer should not be corporate, that is in a church setting, there is a place for corporate prayer. I have found that corporate prayer makes me pray also, but private prayer seems to be more meaningful. 

Faithfulness in the closet. We need to be faithful in Bible reading also.As I have said before, when I was lost in sin, the Lord Jesus said to me, "make Me your choice. I am the only reasonable choice you have." When I said, in essence, yes to His invitation, His next words to me that day were, "read my word and start in Matthew." I read the entire New Testament that week and by God's grace and help I have by-in-large continued to read His word to this day in private devotions. My question to you is do you read His word on a daily basis? 

We have all probably heard the phrase, "to each his own." So I want to tell you what has worked for me. When I first get up in the morning, I get my Bible and read for a half  hour or so. I have found that if I put it off til later, later often hasn't found a place in my schedule. Usually, at those times I have said within myself, I will read prior to bedtime. However by bedtime I am so tired that I again say within myself, tomorrow! Then tomorrow happens and I experience the same thing all over again. Thus I have found that first thing in the morning is my best time to read the word of God. Later when my wife gets up, we discuss what we have read and then we pray together. You have probably heard the expression, "the family that prays together, stays together."You may find it best to schedule a time later in the day. The important thing is to be faithful.

I am made to think of the story of the widow's two mites. This was not a parable but an actual happening in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. In Luke's account, the Bible says, "And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." (See Luke 21:1-4) Certainly this was an example by those religious leaders of doing things to be seen of men, as opposed to the widow giving from her heart. The Lord Jesus said that she, "cast in all that she had." (See Mark 12:41-44) She probably had a closet of prayer also.The Lord Jesus said in Luke 6:1-4 to do our giving in secret and our Father which seeth in secret shall reward us openly. 

Well I entitled this posting "The Closet of Prayer." Maybe it is time I found that closet for myself. Lately I have been telling the Lord Jesus that I want to be a prayer warrior. How about you?

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