August 2, 2013
No, I don’t mean the place where you store your clothes and shoes – and who knows what else. I mean the sanctuary Jesus told us to enter when we pray. He said, “when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret.” (Matt 6:6)
I don’t think he meant a special little room. He was talking instead, about a mental space. Jesus meant for us to get quiet in thought – close the door on distractions and interruptions – and commune one on one with God. He indicated that those conversations should be in secret, not because what we had to say to – or hear from – the Father was necessarily secret, but because the Master didn’t want us to waste time trying to impress someone who might be listening. This was just to be between God and you.
His disciples were eager to heal as Jesus did, and they knew it included prayer – quiet, holy, direct – with the Almighty. So they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1) Jesus’ response was not just a suggestion that we approach prayer in humble silence, it was a directive.
How often do you obey that command? How often do you take the time to hush the clamor of busyness or fear, to put down the hustle-bustle of self? It’s not that we can’t pray under those circumstances – and we often do. It’s just usually that we don’t hear God’s response to our prayer, only our own words.
Jesus reminds us of the outcome of taking the time to shut out the world while praying: “thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” That means visible healing, freedom, progress. That means peace and joy.
And who doesn’t want that?
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.