Before our Lord shared a model prayer with us in the Gospel of Matthew He said something else that has stuck with me for a long time.
“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. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:6-8 NKJV From there He recited the Lord’s Prayer that I included at the end of this essay.
Essentially God already knows everything about you and how things will unfold during your lifetime. Therefore all you need to do is get onboard the train that is already moving. Obviously this requires both faith and trust, neither are easy for us to grasp. We must trust in what we don’t know and have faith in things that are unseen. It’s not logical. Well, God is not logical…He is spiritual. Those are two separate and distinct realities.
Typically people will pray when there is a great need, or when they want or need something, or when they run out of other options. The advice that was so helpful to me in this scripture was when Christ suggested that you go into your room, and shut the door behind you so you can pray to your Father who is in the secret place. That secret place is in the spiritual place, a sacred place where no one else is there besides you and your Father. Many think it is the physical room with the closed door but the secret place is within the deepest dwelling of your heart where the Spirit lives. That secret place is already in you. God placed Himself there as your Creator so when you call upon Him He is already there waiting for you. He already knows what you want and what you need but the exercise of actually praying is for you to connect with Him. Therefore as your Father reads your heart He will reward you openly here upon earth, according to His will.
Now all of this presupposes something. Firstly you cannot hide from your own heart. You might be able to hide or convince yourself in your mind something contrary to the truth but you can’t lie to your heart. God already knows everything about you but when you go into that secret place you can also connect with your true self, not the one the mind wants you to think in the true self. The mind is usually attached to the physical realm while the heart belongs to its Maker. Don’t confuse the “heart” with the physical organ that pumps blood through the body but the spiritual cavity that God blew the breath of life into your body and you became living flesh. That is the secret place and where you are trying to get to in order to pray. God hears you there and you can also hear yourself in there.
Once you get there then there is very little you actually need to ask for because God already know what you need. Typically you want Him to cover your daily needs, forgive the debts that you have accumulated, both spiritual and physical debts, and to keep you away from the temptations from the evil ones. You want God’s covering over you from the evil spirits in the heavenly realm. Those are the ones that your eyes can’t see. While He is at it might as well cover you from the weasels down here as well.
The Lord’s prayer covers all you need to ask of God but rather than just memorizing the mere words, really understand what you are requesting and, from whom you are making the request because if that petition does not come from the heart (the secret place) you are not making the proper connection. It instead remains on the surface level and doesn’t really penetrate into the spiritual realm where God’s kingdom exists in you.
Thy will be done, on earth and it is in heaven. Since God lives in us… His kingdom is also here on earth as it is in heaven through us. If we seek His will we align with what He already knows so the bridge is connected from this earthly realm into the spiritual realm and back to the earth where you are now.
Ironically many people think they need to go into a building to pray but I would take the Lord’s advice and go into that secret place and then pray more intimately to your Heavenly Father. Perhaps that building might be a great place to worship with likeminded servants but your prayers should be more intimate. Meditate on the scripture where Christ taught us how to pray and see if you can get behind the mere words and open the door to that secret place Christ was referencing.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
I have nothing else to add. Selah!