God the Father trusts that we seek Him in secret. Such an act has rewards. Do we seek blessings, confidence, His will and interference in our life? Here is the solution Jesus offers. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matt. 6:6). Praying to the Father is the way to live out our life on this earth. There are many things we face in life and they all necessitate help. It is easy to go on our ways to try resolving matters, but a true resolve is in seeking the Father’s help.
The Father knows all our needs, troubles, heartaches and desires. He is able to resolve them in a heartbeat and without our consent. Yet, He desires we approach Him in secret so that we know Him who helped us, and procure an intimate relationship with Him. Imagine if He were to resolve all our issues without our asking Him. The immediate effect would be a drastic drop in our love for Him. We take Him for granted and fail to recognize that it is He who is helping us with His all-powerful nature. It would mean a one way relationship wherein it is only He who loves us. This would only have an adverse effect on us. Our carelessness in loving Him and revering Him would lead us into disobedience. Satan would seize such opportunity in us to make war against Him. Then the consequences of sin appear. The Father does not intend for such situations to appear in our life. Therefore, He desires we approach Him.
Approaching the Father firstly indicates our devotion to Him. It is a work of faith that preserves the righteousness and sanctification He gifted us. The often we pray to Him, the more we get to know Him and the more we get to know Him, the better our life shall be. Secondly, praying to Him implies we accept our state of not being able to know all things. This means when we seek His blessings, the fulfillment of our desires or the removal of heartaches and troubles, we are in fact fully submitting ourselves to Him and leave all the consequences to Him. This is the mindset God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son, require from us; for we are His believers. It is only we, His children, have the privilege of having such mind. It is a constant, a given act. Notice the words of Jesus. When He said, “But you, when you pray,” He trusted us to be a prayerful people.
Another plain reason for Christ to ask us to pray behind closed doors is that we are in the flesh. When we pray to the Father in our inner room, it is offering ourselves to Him as a sacrifice. We deliberately pin our flesh at His feet so that our spirit is revived and filled by His grace. This is absolutely necessary, if we are to continually overcome the world. It is at this point that all our worries and fears evaporate, and the essentials such as wisdom, power and mercy rule in us. True believers are always on the lookout for praying opportunities. For they know only positive results and rewards can come from it. Another interesting word of Jesus we must note regarding the Father is that He is in secret. It indicates the manner in which the Father wants to associate with each one of us. When in secret, we are willing to reveal all that is in our heart. And this is what the Father wants from us. This is the prime basis for an intimate relationship with Him. Believers who obey Jesus will certainly find joy and fulfillment in life. For He said, “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink” (John 6:55).
True food will only make us strong and healthy for the better. His Word is true food. True drink never leaves us thirsty. His way is true drink. If His Word to pray to the Father is true food, His way to approach Him in secret is His true drink. There is yet another reason for meeting Him in secret. It is for the time we spend with Him. When you pray for your family, friends, relatives, church, gospel, nation and urgent needs, besides praying for your personal needs, issues and godliness, it certainly couldn’t be a public prayer, could it? Public prayers are essential and have their place. They are short and meant to be powerful only because the one who prays has an intimate relationship with the Father.
When Jesus went to a secluded place to pray, He did not or could not do it for few minutes. For He was praying for many things the Father desired in Him. Do not think praying for the same thing a few times or more is meaningless repetition as the gentiles. If it is the case, Christ would not have prayed three times to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane or Paul for the removal of the thorn in his flesh. Meaningless repetition as the gentiles is praying continuously without purpose and away from God’s will. It was the Father’s will for Christ and Paul to pray that they obtain a discrete answer. And He desires all believers to do the same. And as we graft the words of Jesus on our hearts, we are bound for a special life. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
Christ came to give us great things. We can obtain them only when we do His Word; for even salvation requires that one call upon the Lord. The primary requirement is belief in Him. With this in mind let us count the great things. They are joy, peace and hope by the power of the Spirit. Meeting the Father in secret is for these. Joy not only comes from being saved, but from all the goodness the Father brings to us. Count all your blessings. They have brought you great joy, and as the Father continues to bless you, your joy will not fade. Peace is not only with God, but also with those whom we live with and around. For this reason, Paul elsewhere urged his beloved disciple to pray for all men, kings and authorities for a quiet and tranquil life. How pertinent! Now, hope by the power of the Spirit has no limits. It is by it we come to know that all our requests granted by the Father will come true. Many hope and do not see the desired fruit, because it is of their flesh. But the hope that is of the Spirit is by the power of the all-powerful Father who strengthens us to believe.
Now, this is how prayer works when it becomes our habit. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Gal. 5:9). It leads us to the things of God. Once we are accustomed to go to the Father in secret, we have found the source of liberation. All matters are resolved in the inner room. What does it mean? For everything we ask the Father delivers His will. Sometimes it will be something we do not expect like a simple ‘no’ or mere silence. A ‘no’ would mean ‘not now’ or as in we are no longer to pursue that particular interest of ours. Silence could mean He is testing us or disciplining us for an act of disobedience. In any of these cases we can be rest assured our prayers were heard and He has not forgotten us; for He saved us by grace. The essence of grace is that He will not lose us. Sometimes He would tell us to wait, since He has planned something different for us. Again, because of our intimacy with Him, He may call us for His unique works. And this is what we see with a righteous man. “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith” (Heb. 11:7).
In a time when there were none righteous he alone was found righteous by God. In hindsight his calling might not seem so unique to us. But, it was very unique when we consider that time. God destroyed mankind and brought forth another through him. His act is not only an example of His calling, but also of His decision making. Now, nowhere was it mentioned that Noah prayed to God. But, it would be preposterous for one to suggest that faith and righteousness can be established in a person without conversing with Him. That a person is blameless and walks with God means he is intimate with Him. Godly people always converse with God that they find His Word for a relationship with Him. Now-a-days it is for one and one reason only that many Christians cannot find God’s favor. It is not seeking Him. They do not seek, since they do not stand on the following. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
Many ask. Some do it for the sake of asking; others with selfish interests. These anyway go on their own ways to fulfill their desires. But you are not called to be like them. God has called you for His purpose. So, you ought to pray for His will. This firstly includes praying for the heavenly things. These are always according to His will. He will grant them to you. Secondly, you ought to ask Him for your needs and desires with an attitude of receiving them according to His wish; for He knows the best for you. Then, He will open wide His doors and let you in on His secrets. It could be anything, but it will be for you alone. It might seem odd to men as they see you obey His will, but in a world full of ungodliness, sin and falsified faith, you are actually doing very well. You condemn the world. Your main objective is to focus on praying to the Father in secret. Let your conversation with Him be between you and Him alone. He will reward you. “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen” (Rom. 15:33).