“Pray to thy Father, which is in secret;”
Or, Alone with God,
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall recompense thee — Matthew 6:6
Once Jesus had called His first followers, He then proceeded to give them their very first public teaching in the form of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus then proceeded to explain to them the life and laws of the kingdom of God that he had just brought them there to see. God is not only King in that realm; he is also the Father of all who live there. Not only does he give everything, but he is everything in and of himself. Only in knowing Him and having company with other believers can one experience the fullness of this blessing. As a result, it was only natural for Him to incorporate the revelation of prayer and the prayer life into His teachings of the New Kingdom, which He had come to establish. About the act of praying, Moses never provided a mandate or law. Even the prophets don’t really go into detail on the prayer obligation that people have. Christ is the one who imparts this spiritual instruction to his followers.
Pray to your Father who is in the secret place— Jesus
The Lord delivers His first lesson to His disciples by first instructing them that they are required to have a private place for prayer. Everyone ought to have a personal space of their own where they can go to be alone with their God. It is required that every classroom be staffed with at least one teacher. In the course of our studies at the school of prayer, we have gained the knowledge and acceptance necessary to acknowledge Jesus as our sole teacher. In Samaria, he already communicated to us the knowledge that worship need no longer be bound to specific times and locations. Worship that is true to its spiritual nature is something that involves both the spirit and the life. Worship must always be performed in accordance with the spirit and the truth throughout an individual’s entire life. Nonetheless, He wants each person to select a regular meeting place for themselves so that they can commune with Him on a regular basis. That one-on-one setting, the most private part of the building, serves as Jesus’ classroom. That location can be anywhere. That place can change from day to day even if we have to move our dwelling. That hidden place must exist, along with the quiet time in which the pupil places himself in the presence of the Master, in order to be by Him prepared to worship the Father. There by himself, but absolutely without a doubt, Jesus comes to us to instruct us on how to pray.
A teacher’s first concern is that his or her classroom should be well-lit and inviting, resembling the light and atmosphere of heaven and serving as a setting in which students are eager to attend and delighted to be there. When Jesus first begins to teach us about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, He does so with the intention of presenting the inner sanctuary in the most alluring light possible. If we give serious attention to what he is saying, we will quickly become aware of the most important thing that he has to tell us about our stay in that location. It is mentioned three times: “Pray to thy Father,” “Thy Father shall repay thee,” and “Your Father knoweth what things you need.” When I go into my closet and pray, the first thing that I do is tell God that I need to meet my father. The light that comes from within the cloister must be the light that comes from the face of the Father. The atmosphere in which I am to breathe and pray is God’s Father-love, and God’s boundless fatherliness. This is the fresh air from heaven that Jesus would have it filled with, and it is also the atmosphere in which Jesus would have it filled. In this way, every thought or request we exhale will be characterized by a straightforward, wholehearted, and childlike trust in the Lord. This is the method of praying that we are instructed to use by the Lord. He ushers us into the very presence of the Father, who is still alive. It is essential that the prayers we offer there be answered. Let us pay attention so that we may comprehend what it is that the Lord wishes to communicate with us.
First, “Pray to thy Father which is in the hidden place.” The true nature of God is such that He cannot be seen by the eyes of the natural man. As long as the primary focus of our devotion to God is on our own ideas and actions, we will not be able to encounter God as the Holy Spirit, who is invisible to the human eye. The Father, on the other hand, will make himself known to the man who separates himself from everything that pertains to this world and its inhabitants and who makes preparations to wait solely on God. As he turns his back on the world and the life of the world and allows himself to be led by Christ into the presence of God, the light of the love that the Father has for his child will shine upon him. He will have to forsake, give up, and shut out the world and the life that the world offers. An image of, and a help to, that inner spiritual sanctuary, the secret of God’s tabernacle, which is located behind the veil, the place where our spirit truly comes into contact with the Invisible One, the cloak of secrecy that surrounds the inner chamber and the door that is closed, as well as the complete separation from everything else that is going on around us. This is the first lesson that we are given in this regard. The Father’s location is a well guarded secret. In these statements, Jesus reveals to us where He is waiting for us and where we can always find Him. He also tells us that He will always be found there. Christians frequently express their dissatisfaction with the fact that private prayer is not as effective as it ought to be. They get the impression that they are feeble and guilty, and their heart is unfeeling and gloomy. It seems as if they have so little to pray over, and within that very little, they have neither faith nor joy. People are disheartened and prevented from praying as a result of their inability to approach the Father in the manner in which they should or the manner in which they wish. Youngster of the Most High! Pay attention to what your Instructor is telling you. He will tell you that whenever you walk into a private place to pray, your very first thought should be, “The Father is in secret,” and that the Father will wait for you there. Get you into the presence of the loving Father, despite the fact that your heart is chilly and you haven’t been praying. The Lord feels compassion for you in the same way that a parent feels compassion for his own children.
Do not concentrate on how little you can offer God, but rather on how much good He wants to give you. Simply position yourself in front of Him and gaze directly into His eyes. Ponder about His love, His tremendous, sympathetic, pitying affection for you. Please let Him know how sinful everything is and how chilly and dark everything is. Your own heart will be filled with light and warmth as a result of the compassionate love that comes from the Father. Listen to what Jesus has to say and obey him. Simply close the door and pray to your Father, who only hears those who approach him in private. Is it not wonderful? to have the opportunity to travel independently with God, the boundless God. And then to glance up and call out, “My Father!”
“And your Father who sees in privacy will recompense you,” the Bible says. In this passage, Jesus gives us the assurance that our prayers will not go unanswered. Its goodness will make itself known to us in the course of our lives. We are only able to do this in private, when we are alone with God, so that we may entrust our lives to Him in front of other people. He will openly reward us for our faithfulness. The manifestation of the Lord’s favor upon us will be the answer to the prayers that are offered to Him. Our Lord would teach us in this way that just as God meets us in the private places with an infinite fatherly love and faithfulness, so too should there be on our part the childish simplicity of faith, the confidence that our prayer does send down a blessing. “He that would come to God must believe that He is a remaker of those who seek Him,” the Bible says. It is not the intensity or fervency of my feelings when I pray that determines whether or not the closet will be blessed; rather, it is the love and the power of the Father, to whom I submit my needs, that determines whether or not the closet will be blessed. As a result, the Master has only a single objective in mind. Always keep in mind that your Father is able to see and hear things even when they are hidden from you; travel to the location in question, remain there for some time, and then leave with full faith that He will compensate you. If you put your faith in Him and depend on Him for it, then your prayers to the Father will never be in vain. You won’t have to hide his gratitude from anyone.
Christ offers a third word to further reaffirm this faith in the fatherly love of God, and it is this: “Your Father knows what things you need before you ask Him!” At first glance, it could appear that this concept makes the necessity of prayer less important than it otherwise would. God has an infinitely more accurate understanding of our requirements than we have. Yet, when we gain a more in-depth understanding of what prayer actually is, we will find that this reality helps to build our faith. It will show us that we do not require a profusion of words or an urgent tone in order to persuade a God who is unwilling to listen to us, as the pagan religions do. It will lead to a holy thoughtfulness and stillness in prayer as it poses the question, “Does my Father really know that I need this?” The answer to this question will lead to a holy silence in prayer. It will, once the Spirit has guided us to the knowledge that our request is actually something that, according to the Scriptures, we do need for God’s glory, it will give us wonderful confidence to speak. My father is aware that I require it and that I simply cannot do without it. And if there is any delay in the answer, it will instruct us in the virtue of patient endurance to hang on, Father! You are aware that I have a desire for the delightful freedom and simplicity of a child, which is something that Christ, our Teacher, would like for us to cultivate as we go closer to God. Let us look up to the Father till His Spirit works in us, and you will see that I have a need for it. When we are in danger of becoming so preoccupied with our fervent and urgent petitions that we forget that the Father knows and hears, let us often hold still and just quietly say, “My Father sees, my Father hears, my Father knows it will help our faith to take the answer,” and to say, “We know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.”
And now, those of you who have recently entered the school of Christ in order to be instructed in how to pray, take these lessons to heart, put them into practice, and have faith that He will perfect you in them. Spend much of your time in the inner room, with the door closed — shut off from other people and shut in with God. There, the Father will be waiting for you to arrive to his house. You will learn how to pray there because Jesus will instruct you. Your deepest, most intimate joy is to be with the Father when you are both alone and unseen. to have the peace of mind of knowing that the Father will publicly reward the covert prayer, making it impossible for it to go unrewarded. This ought to serve as your source of strength from day to day. And to be aware that the Father is aware of the fact that you require what you ask for. Let this give you the freedom to bring every need to your God, secure in the knowledge that your God will satisfy it according to the abundance of His glory in Christ Jesus.
“Lord, teach us to pray.”
Thank you, Lord, for becoming our Savior. I thank Thee with all of my heart for the assignment of the inner chamber as the school where You meet each of Your learners alone and reveal the Father to them. I bless Thee with all of my heart for this wonderful gift. Help me have such a strong faith in the tender love and kindness of the Father that whenever I feel like I’ve done something wrong or am going through a difficult time, my first instinct may be to go to the place where I know the Father is waiting for me and where my prayers are guaranteed to be answered. Permit the realization that He is aware of my requirements even before I voice them to usher in a profound sense of faith and relaxation in me so that I can put my whole trust in the fact that He will provide everything that His child needs. It is my prayer that the space where private worship takes place may one day become the most cherished location on earth.
Lord! Please listen to me as I pray that you would bless the private spaces of those who believe in you everywhere in the world. Let all young Christians be freed from any impression that secret prayer is a responsibility or a burden, and let them be led to perceive it as the finest privilege of their life, a joy, and a blessing instead. May thy incredible revelation of a father’s tenderness inspire them to view it as such. Bring back all those who are disheartened because they cannot find anything to contribute to Thee in prayer, and grant them the insight that all they need to do is bring their emptiness to the One who has everything to give and finds joy in giving it. Bring back all those who are disheartened. Be that as it may, the one thing that they are to focus on is not what they can deliver to the Father but rather what the Father is waiting to give to them. And bless especially the inner chambers of all of Your servants who are working for Thee, since there is the location where God’s truth and God’s grace are shown to them, where they are anointed daily with fresh oil, and where their strength is replenished. They are granted faith as a means of receiving the gifts, with which they are tasked with bestowing blessings upon their fellow man. Lord, bring each one of us who are huddled in this closet a little bit closer to You and the Father. Amen.