Secret Prayer (13 August 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Read: 

When you pray, don’t be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the meeting places and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you. When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask.

(Matthew 6.5-8)

Reflect:

Jesus is advocating simple, private prayer which defeats the temptation to show-off or to try and be sophisticated in prayer. Not that we should never pray in public, but along with fasting and giving Jesus encourages us towards secrecy, intimacy and honesty before the Father. It is in the ‘secret place’ that we find God. Jesus also warns us against mechanical, thoughtless prayer – the Father longs for interactive conversation about what we are thinking and doing together.

Respond:  

Try to find time and secret space to be with God throughout this day. Tell him about frustrating situations, people and circumstances in your life. Tell him your joys and hopes. Share it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. The Scriptures provide precedent for all kinds of prayers and the Father loves our honesty.

 

 

Midday Meditation:

“Simple prayer is necessary, even essential, to the spiritual life. The only way we move beyond ‘self-centered prayer’ (if indeed we ever do) is by going through it, not by making a detour around it.”

(Richard Foster Prayer: Finding The Heart’s True Home)

Evening Reflection:

I lay my head to rest 

 and in doing so lay at your feet

the faces I have seen

the voices I have heard

the words I have spoken

the hands I have shaken

the service I have given

the joys I have shared

the sorrows revealed

I lay them at your feet

and in doing so

lay my head to rest 

(Celtic Evening Prayer)

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