But whenever 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
READING: Matthew 6:5-13
And, of course, the reward is God himself. How often would you say that your prayer times end with a sense that you have been in touch with God himself?
As “professional” Christians, our prayers are often prayed for the hearing and edification of, and judgment by, others. The moments are rare when our audience is God alone. Scripture tells us that it is the glory of man to uncover but the glory of God to conceal, to play hard to get, to be found only by those who humble themselves, put in the time and pay a price. Having the ears to hear is not easily accomplished.
One of the great losses of becoming a pastor is the business contract we apparently sign when we answer the call. We loved to pray and now we get paid to pray. But we can love to pray again. Find a quiet place to pray. A thousand other thoughts will knock on your mind’s door. Ignore their requests and they will eventually go away. Realize that God is in secret, and not in plain sight. He delights to reveal himself to those who create space for him in life and heart.
A reward is no reward if it is not rewarding. I have never connected with God and regretted it. Each time is surprisingly rewarding, life-giving, and illuminating. Sometimes I pray in words, sometimes in images, and sometimes in emotions. Sometimes I am caught off guard by tears and sometimes I feel nothing at all. Prayer is not magic but it works wonders for my soul. I invite you to pray today.
Jesus, I pray with your first disciples: teach me to pray. Amen.
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