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. – Matthew 6:6 KJV
When Jesus said that you are to “enter into thy closet” was He actually telling you to get up every morning, open the closet door, shove all your shoes and clothes to the side, crawl inside that dark room, shut the door, and pray? Of course not! The Greek word for “closet” has a history. At first it meant “a secret place where you would hide your most valuable possessions”. Later it referred to a guarded place [like a safety deposit box in a bank today] for all your money and valuables. By New Testament days it referred to a bedroom, because a bedroom is a secret place where a treasured relationship takes place between a husband and a wife. Intimate moments shared by married partners occur in the bedroom. So “closet” in this verse conveys the idea of intimacy with God in prayer.
Just as a husband and wife enter into their bedroom and shut the door so they can bear their hearts and souls to each other in intimacy, so also you should have a relationship with God that is so tender, so special, and so intimate that it is shared only between you and Him and no one else. Therefore, find a secure place where you can go to share your heart and your soul with God in prayer. The idea of “closet” means your place for meeting God daily should be isolated where you can be alone with the Lord. When in your day can you be assured of fewer interruptions – shouldn’t God get that time?
It helps if we meet God when we are at our freshest and can give Him our best attention. For me meeting God at night when my body is shutting down doesn’t help intimacy when I’m yawning more than communicating with my Lord. Being a morning person – I try to give God dedicated daily time in the morning. When is your “alert time”? Can you plan to head toward your chosen “closet” to meet with your Creator and Redeemer? Each of us must have a quiet place and a sacred time when we can give ourselves fully to God in prayer.
You may say, “I know I need to spend quality time with the Lord, but my schedule is so busy that it is hard for me to find time to do it”. But the truth is, you find time for everything else that is important to you. So if you really want to be with the Lord, you will schedule for that as well.
When you do spend time in Bible study and prayer, what is the average amount of time you stay in the presence of God? Can you honestly say you linger in His presence, or do you have a “rush-in, rush-out” experience with the Lord. Compared to the time you spend in front of the TV, surfing the Web, or using your phone – how much time does God get from you daily? Isn’t He worth you giving Him more uninterrupted time in your daily schedule?
Recently we took time in our worship services to dedicate the new sanctuary renovations. Would you pause right now and dedicate your “closet” – your secret place to meet God? Would you and the Lord make a covenant with each other about when you will spend daily intimate time together? He is truly in love with you! He wants your undivided attention.
Paul tells us to “pray continually” [1Thessalonians 5:17]. In the closet and out of the closet – throughout the day we ought to be communicating with our eternal Lover. When you are in love with someone you make time for your lover!
Getting rid of cobwebs from my closet,