There is a Reason it’s Called Contending!

Sometimes in the Project someone will describe the difficulties they had in praying IMG_1062the week before every day/set time/set place, and I remind them “that’s why I named the book ‘Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer.” It is a daily battle.

When you have had to struggle for prayer or you feel you have been attacked by the enemy because of prayer, don’t be surprised! That’s contending!

Whose Door Is It Anyway?

In Matthew 6:6, the NIV says:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door

However, the literal Greek is: “καὶ  κλείσας  τὴν θύραν σου” which is “and shutting the door of you.” Put into proper English, it translates to: “and shutting your door”

What’s the big deal?

First, I felt like the Lord reminded me to “shut the door.” In other words, don’t slide on the vision for prayer I have been promoting to others. Shutting the door means intentionally choosing to isolate myself from the outside world in order to be alone with God. Shutting the door means shutting out distractions—even important ones—and shutting myself in with God. Praying on the train, or in my car while I’m driving, or as I go throughout the day are simply no substitute for shutting myself in with God!

There’s one more thing…

It’s your door. Put another way: It’s your choice! We either make the choice to drag our flesh into the Secret Place—kicking and screaming if necessary—or we don’t. Let’s choose to do it.

A Common Room Made Uncommon

Matthew 6:6 says,

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“Go into your room”

The word for room is ta-meh-ee-on (ταμεῖόν), “room, store room, barn, etc.,” suggesting that it refers simply to a common room. And yet, when we make it a place for prayer, it becomes a common room made uncommon by the fact that the Father is there! He sees what goes on there in secret and rewards us.

“Sometimes we talk about waiting on the Lord. How long has He been waiting for you in the Secret Place?”

God’s Confidant?

There is precedent in Scripture for this concept of God meeting in secret with His children.

In both Psalm 25:14 and Amos 3:7 we get insight into God’s desire to confide in those with whom He has a covenant. Have you ever considered that Almighty God might want to confide in you?

Psalm 25:14 says,

The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

In the Hebrew, the word here for “confide” is Strong’s (5475) “sode” which means, “a session, i.e. company of persons (in close deliberation); by implication intimacy, consultation, a secret:—assembly, counsel, inward, secret (counsel).”[1]

So, we could rephrase this verse to say, “The Lord is intimate with those who fear him” or “The Lord consults with or shares secrets with those who fear him”

Amos 3:7 says, Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. In this verse, “sode” is translated “secret counsel.”

The Secret Place

The Secret Place, far from being simply a place where we share our laundry list of needs with God, is a place of intimacy and secret counsel with God! Sometimes we talk about waiting on God but how long has He been waiting for you in the Secret Place?

Get started now in the Secret Place!


 

NOTES

[1] Strong, J. (2009). A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Vol. 2, p. 82). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.