Prayers in a Secret Place

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the 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

A man was sitting in a little room, deep in thought. For a long time already, he had determined to live within the will of God under all circumstances. He now went to prayer with a very important concern. He prayed and wrestled for mercy, strength, and success to make his decision a reality. He wanted to do God’s will in all life situations. He earnestly asked to live grounded in justice, truth, and God’s favor. He knew that this was the way to gain the greatest blessing of continual inner peace and a good conscience. 

On a sunny spring day, an elderly couple slowly walked hand in hand through the garden. They talked about their past and their many memories. They were often in their quiet prayer room. God had given them four children, and there was a lot to pray for. But life was hard and difficult. There were hardships, worries, and illnesses whereby they lost one beloved child after another. The memories of these painful events still depressed the woman in her old age, but they kept receiving new strength in prayer. In retrospect of all suffering, there was always the silent consolation: “We both still have each other!” said the mother. “We don’t want to complain. The burdens of life have only brought us closer to God. The Lord gave it, the Lord took it; the name of the Lord be praised! Many parents have grief and heartache as they watch their children living in sin. But we can know ours are safe with the Lord.”

This was a result of their frequent prayers! They knew it. And knowing that they were soon going home, they were happy and grateful to accept their rewards from the Lord. What a comforting and blessed season of life they could enjoy! However, fruit can only be obtained if there has been adequate sowing.

Our responsibility shouldn’t just be limited to ourselves and our family. Jesus’ mission to us is: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations!” Hudson Taylor, the missionary to China, was so moved by this mission statement that he set out to preach Christ where He was yet unknown. No one was allowed to disturb him in the morning for a set time. This was the time he reserved for his private prayer. He prayed earnestly for God to open hearts for Christ among the large number of lost people in that country. His servants always stood around his tent until he came out. But one morning, he did not come out. The morning had already progressed, and all remained silent.  Finally, they looked inside. There, the servants found him on his knees; but he had already breathed his last. The fruit of his ministry undoubtedly led back to his private prayer time.

I was reminded of a song, “Silent Heroes” by Jacob Hoff:

There are silent heroes of the faith,
By this world not recognized.
No applause crowns their effort of grace,
Their resolve not advertised.
See an old man lying there in pain, 
His time on earth almost done;
With praying lips he thanks once again
For salvation through the Son.

And there is a sister working late,
Assisting others in need;
Despite the stress and obstacles great,
She still persists  in work and deed.
A brother true is wrestling in prayer:
“Lord, hear my anguishing cry
And save the ones that are in despair;
As lost souls, don’t let them die.”

How do you use and spend your time?
See, the vineyard of the Lord
Is needing workers while the sun shines.
Jesus saves, go spread the Word.
He heals the sick, frees souls from sin,
Comforts those who are at loss;
He suffered shame, rejected by men,
Died for us upon the cross.

These are the silent heroes of faith,
Great is the reward that they will see;
Although on earth they may be disgraced,
Blessed are they eternally.

This heroism refers to the faithful prayer warriors in their private prayer rooms. Some have their secret place in their apartments; others, though innocent, pray and wrestle before God in their prison cells; others have their place of prayer in a field, like Isaac, on a stable floor, or in a barn. Faithful prayer is important. God’s Word says: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Only eternity will reveal what the faithful heroes of faith have wrought in their prayer rooms.    

Do we also have such a quiet place of prayer? Many so-called Christians hardly know how to say grace at a meal. What a tragedy! Prayer is often compared to a weapon. What would an army be without weapons, and what would  Christianity be without prayer? “Go into your secret place and pray!” Jesus said. Begin today, and you will find that it will help you and others and be a great blessing!  

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