Bro. Jason D Boyd
Pray In Secret
"When you pray, enter into thy closet,...pray to thy Father which is in secret." Matthew 6:6
The closet during Jesus’ time was a luxury room everyone wished to have. It was probably referred to as a broom closet. But that is not the point of the message. Praying in the closet is a metaphor for our physical and spiritual practice.
Find time in your busy life to spend at least thirty minutes -- two hours at best. Then find a place or room with a door where you will be free of distractions for your prayers. Tell your family not to disturb you and turn your smartphone/smartwatch to silence (better have it powered off or turn off notifications).
You want to be free from distractions. The place can be outside on the patio, in the home study office, in a nook space of your home, in a parked car, on a nature trail, etc. -- anywhere you would like. I like my home study and the patio depending on the weather. Frequently I go to the retreat house off the grid that is far reachable by cellular / Wi-Fi signals.
Be comfortable. You can sit in a chair or on the floor but do not lie down because you’ll drift off to sleep. You can kneel in a comfortable position using the pillow. You will most likely change position once in a while during your prayers.
After you read the Scripture, it’s time to P.R.A.Y. The hardest part of this prayer is to quiet your mind’s chatter and daydreaming. It could take a few weeks to train yourself in this form of Centering Prayer.
Together we P.R.A.Y. very simply each day --
“P”: PAUSING to be still,
“R”: REJOICING with Psalm and REFLECTING on a Scripture,
“A”: ASKING God to help us and others,
“Y”: YIELDING to His will in our lives, come what may.
Read the scriptures in lectio divina style by repeating the P and R three times. You do not want to rush through the process. Because when you do, it is the symptom of weakness and faithlessness. Take your time reading the scriptures and listen to what phrases or words stood out or grabbed your attention.
I recommend you have a notebook and pen in case you need to write down what may come to you -- the thoughts and visions you did not conjure. Those were shared with you from the Holy Spirit.
The “secret” word in the Scripture says that your God the Father is listening and is within you through His Holy Spirit. The secret is the bubble communion between you and God, where you are now in union with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Trust God for guidance. This is your sabbatical time with your Holy God.
Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash