The Best Closet Prayer Ever!

July 9, 2017
by Diane Eaton

This heading might not remind you of the Lord's Prayer, which is normally associated with corporate worship. But today, I present the Lord's Prayer as a personal prayer — and, I'd say, the best "closet" prayer ever. You'll see.

Jesus gave the prayer to His disciples as an alternative to the prayer habits of religious authorities. They would pray publicly, babbling with great flourish so that all would be impressed. Jesus saw through the drama and called it playacting. "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites," He said. (Matthew 6:5a NIV)

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen" (Matthew 6:6a NIV). That's when Jesus offered a model for prayer. It became known as The Lord's Prayer.

"When thou prayest, enter into thy closet" says Jesus (Matthew 6:6a KJV). What an effective antidote for hypocrisy! In the "closet" (that is, in privacy), we don't perform for others; no one is watching. In our "closet" we are alone. We may actually feel miserably alone. God may seem far away, and our words get smothered in the coats. At first, we find little to say. Yet, we persevere. At last, we break through the barrier and reach for heaven itself, calling, "God, You Who dwell in a realm beyond my self-absorbing here-and-now preoccupations — I want to connect with You!" Now, we are ready to pray as the Lord taught — something like this:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9b-10 NIV)

Such praying catapults us beyond our here-and-now realm into an infinite, eternal realm: heaven itself. We've turned our heads to face the Almighty. We centre on God: God's location, God's reputation, God's domain of rule, God's will. We cry out, "O Lord, I want You to be known as a holy God! I long for Your kingdom to penetrate the spiritual darkness and advance across humanity by Your powerful love, expressed through Your followers! I want whatever You want!

Now, we're halfway through the Lord's Prayer. So far, it's been about God. That's a good start. When we get centred on God for Who He is and what He does, we sense our own frailty and sinfulness. Now, we pray for ourselves: our temporal needs, forgiveness, and protection from evil. God hears such praying because, through His loving care for us, His nature is revealed on earth — just as we prayed from the start.

Furthermore, in our "closets", we discover that we're not alone. We're with a vast family of brothers and sisters, all seeking our Father from their own "closets". They, too, are praying as Jesus taught. What a glorious thought!

Wouldn't you agree that in its essence, the Lord's Prayer is the best "closet" prayer ever?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, today, from our own "closets", we cry out: Thy kingdom come! Fill this land with Your glory; flood the nations with grace and mercy; send forth Your Word, Lord, and let there be light! Amen!

About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one!


    Thanks for a good word Diane.


    I love your enthusiasm! Keep writing!


    Amen! And Amen! Thank you, Diane!


    Thank you so much, Diane, for this challenging Devotional.


    Thank you, Diane, for sharing this excellent explanation of the Lord’s Prayer. Blessings.


    What a great exposition on the Lord’s Payer.
    Definitely a keeper.


    I really enjoy reading your devotions.
    Keep up your good work.


    Cool Diana how you finish off your devotional with the words from the song of “Shine Jesus shine”. Thank you for giving me a sense of belonging when I feel so isolated as the way I feel right now.
    God bless you.


    Thank you for your inspiring devotional on the Lord’s prayer. I have always had difficulty with praying. I would often use the Lord’s prayer as my “fall back” option, which I found embarrassing, because I felt I gave up too easily. Your insights have given me a welcome whole new perspective on my daily “closet prayer”.


    Congratulations Diane for the approach you have ‘analyzed’ to what we routinely refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. I now look upon THE Prayer in a diverse way that improves and deepens my understanding, appreciation and my approach as I end each day with our Christ’s advice.
    I cannot add anything further with the contents found in this morning’s Devotional. I thank you, at least for giving me a smile and removes, for me at least, the monotony which sometimes can slip in as I close my eyes for sleep thanking my God.


    Today as I read your devotion I realized even though I have never heard your voice, seen your physical being, I do see your heart through your writings and see your inward beauty.
    May God’s love and wisdom continue to flow from your pen, and yes your lips. Because there is a God given power in your words. I pray that God will extend your life so you will continue to sow the seeds of truth. My prayers are with you.
    PS Thank you for blessing me this morning.


    Thank you Diane, for a very meaningful devotional today. It’s always good to look at something we have learned as children (especially the Lord’s Prayer) in a new way, so our repetition of it does not become routine or mechanical. And the ‘closet’ concept does that for us. Another ‘tip’ I’ve incorporated that helps is to emphasize different words throughout, such as “Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” etc., making its meaning come alive.
    Thank you again for sharing this insight on this all-encompassing prayer. I’m not likely to repeat it again corporately without thinking of being in the ‘closet.’
    Blessings,
    (ON)


    Diane – Thanks for your insightful remarks regarding the “best” prayer for use in our prayer closets.


    Greetings Diane,
    It was such a pleasure to open the devotion yesterday morning before we left for worship.
    When we think of you, we thank God for the opportunity we had to experience with you, your deep spiritual walk in the Lord.
    Blessings.


    Dear Diane,
    A true devotional. Thank you.
    I love to pray the Lord’s Prayer almost every morning. I rarely miss.
    It’s the real start of my day.
    The oftener I pray it, the larger it becomes; most widespread over all there is.
    Keep writing.


    Dear Diane,
    I found your devotional right on the spot for me this morning. You have hit the nail on the head. Thank you. I’ve repeated the Lord’s Prayer for many years but you’ve given me new light. Amen and Amen.
    God give you great blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Hi Diane,
    I enjoyed your writing. Actually we pray “The Lord’s Prayer” every day at supper time.
    Blessings.

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