"But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." Matthew 6:6 ESV
I have mentioned in previous devotions, my maternal grandparents. One of my great joys was spending the night at their house. In the early morning, I could overhear my meek and quiet grandmother in her private place, praying. In her earnest petitions, nothing was going on except Grandma Annamae having a friendly heartfelt conversation with Jesus. She would pour out her heart, praying for those who were sick and for her family.
Before Jesus gave his disciples the example of prayer we know as The Lord's Prayer, he gave the instructions in today's scripture. Some folks would pray loudly in church, and even on street corners, to demonstrate their religiosity. Their prayers went no further than the air around them, reaching not God's ears, but only those they wanted to impress - they had received their reward. Jesus instructs them to go into a private place, close the door, and pray where you can't be heard. What you pray in secret will be heard. It is essential to establish quality one-on-one time with God. Time without distractions and interruptions. A quiet period in which you can have a dialogue with God, sharing what is on your heart, and listening for his response. For me, my Grandma Chambers is my example.
Precious and loving God, we give thanks for the honor of having quality alone time with you. In our busy world, it is easy to get distracted and lose track of the importance of this quiet time in prayer. Help us to slow down, find a place of silence, and not only talk but to listen for what you would have us do. In the name of your son Jesus we pray. Amen.
PS In Matthew 6, Jesus also talks of two other things we should do in private; our good deeds (v. 4), and fasting (v. 18). Here is a link to a hilarious bit about fasting from the Skit Guys.