In this Scripture, we see the call that Jesus gives to every one of us today: “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).
Notice first of all that Jesus said, “When you pray.” He didn’t say, “If you pray.” Jesus believed that those who would follow Him – those who would enter into a personal, saving relationship with Him – sooner or later would come to a place where they long to connect with their Creator in personal, intimate friendship. When you know how much God loves you, when you know how good He is, and you know that He is a God who speaks, you’ll be drawn to the place of prayer.
Maybe you have experienced that magnetic pull on the inside of you, but didn’t know what it was. Picture this: It’s late at night, and you’re restless, so what do you do? You go to the kitchen. You open up the refrigerator and look inside, and your wife comes along and says, “Are you trying to warm up the fridge or cool down the house?” because you’re just sitting there staring into the fridge. You don’t know what you’re looking for, and you’re not really hungry because you just finished dinner a half an hour ago.
But there’s this restlessness inside of you. You need something, and you want something, but it’s not food, so you close the fridge and you go into the living room and turn on the TV. You start channel surfing through sixty million channels and still can’t find anything good on. But this doesn’t bring the satisfaction or fulfillment that you’re looking for either. You try all these different things – going for a run, playing sports, or some other meaningless activity.
But this restlessness in our soul is like a magnet that’s drawn towards and longing to connect with God. But because we don’t realize that’s what the itch in our soul is, we try to find satisfaction and fulfillment in many different things. But if we would respond first of all to that call to be with our God in prayer – this good God who created us, who loves us, and who has this amazing plan for our lives and will give our life meaning – then after that, when we go and do those other things, we will enjoy them more.
You see, God longs to have a personal relationship with us. That’s Christianity – that’s what the Bible is all about. So Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room and shut your door.” Why did He say that? He is telling us to shut the door to all of the distractions in our lives. Because we have a lot of them, don’t we?
In this iConnected generation, we have iPods, iPads and iPhones. But we forget the most important one: iPray. But because of all of the loud music and TV shows and video games, when God speaks in the still small voice, we don’t hear. God is always speaking, and if we’re not hearing His voice, it’s because we’re not listening. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27). So let’s shut the door to all of the distractions in our lives, get alone until we’re not alone anymore – because we’re experiencing fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Pastor Chris Jordan