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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1913

 when you pray


Enter into thy closet - Every Jewish house had a place for secret devotion. The roofs of their houses were flat places, well adapted for walking, conversation, and meditation. See the notes at Matthew 9:2. Professor Hackett ("Illustrations of Scripture," p. 82) says: "On the roof of the house in which I lodged at Damascus were chambers and rooms along the side and at the corners of the open space or terrace, which constitutes often a sort of upper story. I observed the same thing in connection with other houses." Over the porch, or entrance of the house, there was frequently a small room of the size of the porch, raised a story above the rest of the house, expressly appropriated for the place of retirement. Here, in secrecy and solitude, the pious Jew might offer his prayers, unseen by any but the Searcher of hearts. To this place, or to some similar place, our Saviour directed his disciples to repair when they wished to hold communion with God. This is the place commonly mentioned in the New Testament as the "upper room," or the place for secret prayer.

The meaning of the Saviour is, that there should be some place where we may be in secret - where we may be alone with God. There should be some "place" to which we may resort where no ear will hear us but "His" ear, and no eye can see us but His eye. Unless there is such a place, secret prayer will not be long or strictly maintained. It is often said that we have no such place, and can secure none. We are away from home; we are traveling; we are among strangers; we are in stages and steamboats, and how can we find such places of retirement? I answer, the desire to pray, and the love of prayer, will create such places in abundance. The Saviour had all the difficulties which we can have, but yet he lived in the practice of secret prayer. To be alone, he rose up "a great while before day," and went into a solitary place and prayed, Mark 1:35. With him a grove, a mountain, a garden, furnished such a place, and, though a traveler, and among strangers, and without a house, he lived in the habit of secret prayer. What excuse can they have for not praying who have a home, and who spend the precious hours of the morning in sleep, and who will practice no self-denial that they may be alone with God? O Christian! thy Saviour would have broken in upon these hours, and would have trod his solitary way to the mountain or the grove that he might pray. He did do it. He did it to pray for thee, too indolent and too unconcerned about thy own salvation and that of the world to practice the least self-denial in order to commune with God! How can religion live thus? How can such a soul be saved?

The Saviour does not specify the times when we should pray in secret. He does not say how often it should be done. The reasons may have been:

(1) that he designed that his religion should be "voluntary," and there is not a better "test" of true piety than a disposition to engage often in secret prayer. He intended to leave it to his people to show attachment to him by coming to God often, and as often as they chose.

(2) an attempt to specify the times when this should be done would tend to make religion formal and heartless. Mohammed undertook to regulate this, and the consequence is a cold and formal prostration at the appointed hours of prayer all over the land where his religion has spread.

(3) the periods are so numerous, and the seasons for secret prayer vary so much, that it would nor be easy to fix rules when this should be done.

Yet without giving rules, where the Saviour has given none, we may suggest the following as times when secret prayer is proper:

1. In the morning. Nothing can be more appropriate when we have been preserved through the night, and when we are about to enter upon the duties and dangers of another day, than to render to our great Preserver thanks, and to commit ourselves to His fatherly care.

2. In the evening. When the day has closed, what would be more natural than to offer thanksgiving for the mercies of the day, and to implore forgiveness for what we have said or done amiss? And when about to lie down again to sleep, not knowing but it may be our last sleep and that we may awake in eternity, what more proper than to commend ourselves to the care of Him "who never slumbers nor sleeps?"

3. We should pray in times of embarrassment and perplexity. Such times occur in every man's life, and it is then a privilege and a duty to go to God and seek his direction. In the most difficult and embarrassed time of the American Revolution, Washington was seen to retire to a grove in the vicinity of the camp at Valley Forge. Curiosity led a man to observe him, and the father of his country was seen on his knees supplicating the God of hosts in prayer. Who can tell how much the liberty of this nation is owing to the answer to the secret prayer of Washington?

4. We should pray when we are beset with strong temptations. So the Saviour prayed in the garden of Gethsemane (compare Hebrews 5:7-8), and so we should pray when we are tempted.

5. We should pray when the Spirit prompts us to pray; when we feel lust like praying; when nothing can satisfy the soul but prayer. Such times occur in the life of every Christian, (and they are "spring-times" of piety - favorable gales to waft us on to heaven. Prayer to the Christian, at such times, is just as congenial as conversation with a friend when the bosom is filled with love; as the society of father, mother, sister, child is, when the heart glows with attachment; as the strains of sweet music are to the ear best attuned to the love of harmony; as the most exquisite poetry is to the heart enamored with the muses; and as the most delicious banquet is to the hungry.

Prayer, then, is the element of being - the breath the vital air; and, then, the Christian must and should pray. He is the most eminent Christian who is most favored with such strong emotions urging him to prayer. The heart is then full; the soul is tender; the sun of glory shines with unusual splendor; no cloud intervenes; the Christian rises above the world, and pants for glory. then we may go to be alone with God. We may enter the closet, and breathe forth our warm desires into his ever-open ear, and He who sees in secret will reward us openly.

In secret - Who is unseen.


Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
But thou, when thou prayest - This is a very impressive and emphatic address. But Thou! whosoever thou art, Jew, Pharisee, Christian - enter into thy closet. Prayer is the most secret intercourse of the soul with God, and as it were the conversation of one heart with another. The world is too profane and treacherous to be of the secret. We must shut the door against it: endeavor to forget it, with all the affairs which busy and amuse it. Prayer requires retirement, at least of the heart; for this may be fitly termed the closet in the house of God, which house the body of every real Christian is, 1 Corinthians 3:16. To this closet we ought to retire even in public prayer, and in the midst of company.

Reward thee openly - What goodness is there equal to this of God to give, not only what we ask, and more than we ask, but to reward even prayer itself! How great advantage is it to serve a prince who places prayers in the number of services, and reckons to his subjects' account, even their trust and confidence in begging all things of him!

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,.... Or "chamber", a secret place, fit for private retirement, meditation, and prayer.

And when thou hast shut thy door; see some such like phrases in Isaiah 26:20 where they are used to express security, here secrecy. Our Lord does not mean to exclude and condemn public prayer, in joining with few, or more persons, in such service; for he himself directs to it, and approves of it, Matthew 18:19 but his view is to instruct persons that they should not only pray in public, but in private also; and especially the latter, which is more suitable and fitting for their particular cases, and less liable to pride, hypocrisy, and vanity.

Pray to thy Father, which is in secret; who is invisible; not to be seen with the eyes of the body, but to be approached with a true heart, in faith and fear, through his Son Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and man; and who is the image of the invisible God, and in whom he is pleased to manifest himself to his people, so as he does not unto the world:

and thy Father, which seeth in secret, observes and takes notice of the secret breathings, pantings, desires, and requests of thy heart and lips,

shall reward thee openly, both here and hereafter; by pouring into thy bosom all the good things thou hast been praying for, both for time and eternity. This is agreeable to what the Jews sometimes say,

"that a man ought not to cause his voice to be heard in prayer; but should pray "silently", with a voice that is not heard; and this is the prayer which is daily accepted (g).''

(g) Zohar in Gen. fol. 114. 4.

Vincent's Word Studies
Closet (ταμιεῖον)

See on Luke 12:3.

Geneva Study Bible
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

People's New Testament
6:6 When thou prayest, enter into thy closet. Private devotions are meant, nor is this designed to prohibit prayers in public assemblies. The Lord himself both prayed in the mountain alone (Mt 14:23), in the night alone (Lu 6:12), and in public in the presence of his disciples. We have records of many prayers offered by the apostles in public assemblies. Thy closet may mean any secret place. Peter's closet was on the house-top; the Savior's on a mountain alone.

Wesley's Notes
6:6 Enter into thy closet - That is, do it with as much secrecy as thou canst.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet-a place of retirement.

and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly-Of course, it is not the simple publicity of prayer which is here condemned. It may be offered in any circumstances, however open, if not prompted by the spirit of ostentation, but dictated by the great ends of prayer itself. It is the retiring character of true prayer which is here taught.

Supplementary Directions and Model Prayer (Mt 6:7-15).

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
6:5-8 It is taken for granted that all who are disciples of Christ pray. You may as soon find a living man that does not breathe, as a living Christian that does not pray. If prayerless, then graceless. The Scribes and Pharisees were guilty of two great faults in prayer, vain-glory and vain repetitions. Verily they have their reward; if in so great a matter as is between us and God, when we are at prayer, we can look to so poor a thing as the praise of men, it is just that it should be all our reward. Yet there is not a secret, sudden breathing after God, but he observes it. It is called a reward, but it is of grace, not of debt; what merit can there be in begging? If he does not give his people what they ask, it is because he knows they do not need it, and that it is not for their good. So far is God from being wrought upon by the length or words of our prayers, that the most powerful intercessions are those which are made with groanings that cannot be uttered. Let us well study what is shown of the frame of mind in which our prayers should be offered, and learn daily from Christ how to pray.

 2012/7/14 0:31Profile

 Re: when you pray

The topic is right on, Brother Gary.
Wonderful way to study and get ideas for our many questions along the way. Though we shift it all through His Spirit and digging for ourselves for how the words are used and cross-references - He's still gifted us with learned men from the beginning.
The topic is something that I believe is very important.
Matt 6:1-8.
There are times when praying in public is like the blowing of that trumpet for others to see that your giving alms.
The heart condition in private versus in public.
The heart is deceptive. Private prayer, asking GOD to show us just how deceptive our hearts are, is what we all need to continually lay before Him. He sees it all but we don't know our own selves.
It's easy to be one thing in front of the others - especially in these days with telephones and internet communications that they didn't have in the church until really not that long ago.
We don't want to display something in front of others that isn't genuinely us - "to be heard or seen of men".
That private prayer is the time to really be ourselves and then He "rewards" us by showing us what we really are or need. Shines His Light on what's truly inside and offers help for us to repent and be cleansed of this self-seeking-self. Straightens out our priorities as well.

You got it right last month as well, about 'time alone with the LORD'.

Thank you for hearing and posting this.

 2012/7/14 1:35

Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1913


yea amen i agree totatly

some thing i feel has been laid on my heart ,is that 40 day secret pray and fast that our lord partook in

that being a type of model prayer

that being the most important serect prayer session that our lord acomplished

that being a time of impowerment

that being a time victory

that strengthend him for all other battels in prayer

i realy feel it was a season of seperation that was ordained for all that walk as he walked

the seperation prayer was the foundation of a preportory ministery

which was ministery unto the father ,and a denile of self

ann what exactly do you mean by got it right ,abut time alone with the lord ,,is that a topic i posted last month

i know these been a lot of topic on persacution ,,

and i think an extended season of regular fasting and prayer and denile of all comferts to a high degree ,is the medison ,or vaceen against viral pesacution

i pray that he strengthens us, our faith ,to begine a season soon

blessings to you

 2012/7/14 2:29Profile


Amen, "the seperation prayer" - I fully agree, Brother and for the reasons that you've just posted. Denile of self - preparation for the ministry and for the future.
Jesus promised us John 16:13 and I know those Words are true. He'll "even show us things to come" - if we're not confident in or soley dependent on our own thinking and stay open and dependent on His leading - we won't be taken by surprise.
I love these verses - Pro 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding - In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

What I was referring to, you posted actually in May. Time is flying!

I'll quote the part that stood out to me ...

come to a quite place ,and look ,,see the lord

he is hanging on the cross for us

see the blood

the pain

watch the scracrfice of the holy lamb

see how he offers him self to god for us

listen, hear the earth quake

and cry of the lamb
listen to the cords of sin break ,wile he screams

behold ,behold ,what he speaks
my god my god my whydid you have to for sake me

it is finished

he has broken the head of the snake

the propishiation ,the offering is compleat

the son has set you free

and you are free indeed

he has broken the power of sin over his people

truly this was the son of god

who was brusied for our iniquity
the chastisment of or peace was upon him
he bore our sins,listen to his pain
and by thsese strips we are heald

the cords of sin are gone

the leash of iniquity ,has been releasd

he has set you free from the leash of slavery

sin has not dominion over us

he condemed sin in the fleash

you are free ,he set you free

recken your selfs dead unto sin

sins dominion,was nailed to the cross

he who knew no sin became sin
cursed is he who hung on the tree

the curse is left you ,,now you leave the curse on that tree

leave your old master ,on that cross

resist the devil ,and he will flee from you

You and Mrs. Gary have a Blessed day! It's good-night for me.

Thank you again.

 2012/7/14 2:53

Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1913


im glad your having a good night ,allways good to no when other parts of the body are joyfull

yea i have pro 3.5.7 on my front door ,it is a powerfull verse

i even concider my own understanding as sinfull
and somthing to repent from

blesings to you and your husbane

your very welcome

 2012/7/14 3:31Profile

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