Time Alone With God daily devotionals

 

Time Alone With God daily devotionals

by Pastor Phil Stout

Read: Matthew 6:5-6

Matthew 6:5-6

New International Version (NIV)

Prayer
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Start:

Consider: Before Jesus’ instructed us on the manner in which we should approach the Father in prayer, he gave us a simple, beautiful piece of advice.

“…when you pray, go into your room, close the door…” (6:6).

I used to read this instruction simply in terms of the quiet space the closed door gives us. There’s so much noise in our world, so many things clamoring for our attention. The solitude of the closed door is an invitation to shut out the noise and give our full attention to communion with the Father.

Sometimes I can talk over the noise. But I can’t listen. The closed door quiets my heart to hear my Father speak his love into my life.

But Jesus’ had more in mind than simply a quiet time. In these initial words on prayer, he talked about those who practiced their religion in public—those who loved the practice of their faith “to be seen by others” (6:5). Don’t go there, he said, “do not be like the hypocrites” (6:5).

When we are worried about how others perceive our faith, we’re in murky waters. Whenever we become centered on perception, we neglect reality. I shouldn’t worry about how people perceive my relationship with Christ or I may destroy that very relationship.

Jesus wants us to be free. There is bondage in pretense. There is freedom in closing the door. We don’t have to perform. We get to enjoy the presence of the One who loves us more than we can imagine.

Pray: “Lord, today I close the door. As you help me to close out the noise and chaos of this world, help me also to close the door on false expectations of what it means to commune with you. Help me to simply enjoy the knowledge that you are with me right now.”

 

 

 

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