Why did Jesus say, “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” (Matthew 6:6)? It is because the Lord desires intimacy. He wants to be shut up alone with the love of His heart! So many will pray and never miss a prayer meeting. They will go to any home meeting—and certainly it is scriptural for two or three to agree together in prayer. But there will come a tug from the Lord and He will whisper, “Come alone—shut the door—let it be just the two of us.” Secret, closet prayer is the most intimate thing you can share with your Lord. If you don’t have this kind of relationship, you don’t really know Him.
Without intimacy with Jesus, even your good works can become evil: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). What is Jesus saying? The key is, “I don't know you.” There has been no intimacy; someone is doing an awful lot in His name without really knowing Him. This means that we can become so wrapped up in doing good, in programs, in helping others, that we lose touch with Jesus.
When we do spend time alone with Him, do we ever think of His needs? Jesus became man with all man’s needs, including the need for friendship and love. He felt rejection just as we do, having never laid aside His humanity. Jesus is God and still man. Being touched by the feeling of our infirmities means that He still experiences the hurts and needs of a man. I recently thought, “Lord, when You were on earth did You ever ask if anyone loved You simply for Yourself—as Jesus, the man?” Look at the multitudes that pressed Him on all sides, crying out for help, for mercy, for sight, for healing, for food, for signs and wonders. He saw them as sheep having no shepherd; He heard their cries and wept. But so few came who were asking for nothing—so few came just to love Him.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon