Alone with God
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thy 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).
After Jesus had called his first disciples, He gave them their first public teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. It is Christ who teaches us to pray. The first thing the Lord teaches His disciples is that they must have a secret place for prayer. Everyone must have some solitary spot where he can be alone with his God. Every teacher must have a schoolroom. We have learned to know and accept Jesus as our only Teacher in the school of prayer. He has already taught us at Samaria that worship is no longer confined to specific times and places. Worship – true, spiritual worship – is a thing of spirit and the life. A man’s whole life must be worship in spirit and truth. A teacher always wants his schoolroom to be bright, attractive, and filled with the light and air of heaven. He wants it to be a place where his pupils long to come and love to stay. In His first words on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seeks to set the inner chamber before us in its most attractive light. The first thing in closet – prayer is to meet the Father.
First, “Pray to thy Father which is in secret.”
The secrecy of the inner chamber and the closed door, the entire separation from everything around us, is an image of the inner spiritual sanctuary, the secret of God’s tabernacle. It is there within the veil that our spirit truly comes into contact with the Invisible One. Thus we are taught at the very beginning of our search for the secret of effective prayer to remember that it is in the inner chamber, where we are alone with the Father, that we learn to pray properly. The Father is in secret.