“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. 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. Matthew 6:5-6
Prayer is a spiritual discipline that is common to all religions. The Christian faith also calls its’ disciples to pray. In many religions the loudness and length of the prayers are used to get the god’s attention and let him/her know you are serious. The Christian faith is different because we know we already have access to God. The blood of Christ allows the child of God to enter into His throne room of grace whenever and where ever.
Yet, so many Christians do not take advantage of this special privilege. We are good at praying long and loud when we are in our small groups or Bible studies. And we are good at telling others that we will pray for them (even if it is only good intentions). But we do not really take advantage of it…even pastors.
“The little estimate we put on prayer is evidence from the little time we give to it.” E.M. Bounds
We read this verse and hear it as an admonishment, and we would be right in doing so. But do you also read it as a promise? Do you read the words of Jesus and hear the promise that IF we go into our room and pray, THEN God will reward us? Do you hear the promise that God rewards those who diligently seek Him? Do you know that your heavenly Father desires to hear from on high and answer?
During this Lenten season many will seek to sacrifice or “give up” special privileges. They will forsake chocolate, meat, even FaceBook! But I pose a different challenge to you this Lenten season. Take on the privilege of prayer. Set a time and a place every day that you will meet with God. Test Him, try Him! See if He will not pour open the flood gates of heaven.
Keep fighting the good fight of faith!