“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
In the Christian’s devotional life, prayer has an essential place. The godly men of the Bible were all men of prayer. Jesus, who showed us in Himself the ideal Christian life–had regular habits of prayer.
Jesus teaches that we are to pray to God as our Father. We must come to Him, therefore, as His redeemed children–with the genuineness, the simplicity, the confidence of children. When we stand at God’s throne of grace and speak the name “Father” we are sure of instant welcome.
Many people think of prayer only as coming to God with requests. They only tell Him their needs. What would you think of a friend of yours who never came to you nor talked with you, except when he wanted to ask some favor of you? If we care to be with Him only when we have a favor to ask of Him–then there is something lacking in our love!
We are not to suppose that when Jesus spent whole nights in prayer, He was making requests all the time. He went away from the trying, struggling, troublesome life of the busy days among the people–to find shelter, rest, and renewal of strength, in sweet converse with His Father. Just so, most of the time we spend in prayer should be given to communion with God. We have no requests to make—we just want to be with our Father!
The most profitable season of devotion is that in which there is also meditation upon God’s Word. There could be no better way of devotion than this! Praying alone, without meditation on the Word of God, meets only one phase of our need. We talk to God when we pray. But it is quite as important that God talks to us–and He will only talk with us when we open the Scriptures and wait reverently to hear what He will say to us.
We breathe Heaven’s air when we commune with Christ. Life in this sinful world is not easy. It has its struggles, its duties, its difficulties, and its sorrows–which exhaust our strength. Hence we need continually to return to Christ to have our grace renewed. We cannot live today, on yesterday’s food; every morning we must pray for our daily bread. Nor can we be faithful, strong, happy and helpful Christians today–on yesterday’s supply of grace. We need to pray daily. Thus our life is kept from running down, and we are held near our Master all the while. The true Christian life also grows–and it can only do so by daily communing with God.
Prayer brings God down into our life. It was when Jesus was praying, that He was transfigured. One who lives habitually with Christ becomes like Christ. Our earthly affairs become means of grace, if Christ is with us. Prayer lifts all the experiences of our life and lays them in the hand of Christ–who makes them all work together for our eternal good!
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