Going Into the Closet


closet“But when you pray, go into your closet, close the door and pray to your Father….”  Matthew 6:6

What do you think Jesus really meant when He said this?

Was He implying that I should try to find a happy place in my mind so I can feel a sense of calm and peacefulness?

Was the Lord hinting that I should shut my eyes when I pray to cut down on distractions?

Did Jesus mean that I should pray about what clothes to wear every morning?

Could He have been suggesting that if I can’t close my closet doors, that perhaps I have too many clothes?

Or was He instructing that I should

go into a closet

close the door

and pray?

Could you do it?  Would you do it?  Should you do it?

I mean, actually clear a place in an actual closet in your house, put a folding chair inside, and go sit on it for a few minutes every day. What would it be like to close your closet door and talk to God in there?

prayer closet

Nah, that can’t be what He meant.  I’d feel foolish sitting in my closet, praying.  What if someone heard me?  That would be embarrassing.  How would I explain my unusual actions?  Surely He wouldn’t ask me to do something odd like that.  What could possibly be the benefit of such a strange practice?  I must be taking Jesus’ words too literally.

“Prayer is not learned in a classroom, but in a closet.” E.M. Bounds

5 thoughts on “Going Into the Closet

  1. Unfortunately I think I might be answering the 5th question.
    You give good thought to prayer and I think I will clear out a physical spot somewhere and give the Lord room to talk to me as I talk to Him. Thank you for your encouragement.

    You are a blessing,
    Peggy

  2. I’m curious how that fits in with your many-years-ago ‘prayer is personal but not private’, Dinah. I love praying, yes, even aloud and with others, but I’ve spend far more time with my Lord personally and privately. (not in a closet, but until I fell (and now physically things are different for me) I preferred outside, and since I’m a busy mom, oftentimes in the night-when-everyone-is asleep hours. Now my previously spoken aloud prayers are whispers, cuz’ if they are silent I tend to get distracted and wander. I need to focus on the conversation and the One I’m conversing with. 🙂

    • Hmmm. It scares me a little bit that you remember something I said many-years-ago! I think I meant to say that faith is personal, but not private — inferring that people shouldn’t have to guess if you’re a Christian or not. It’s got to be personal, but it shouldn’t be a secret. On the other hand, I believe opportunities to pray in a public setting need to be built on much time in private prayer. I’ve said this many times: “God, never let my zeal for You in public exceed my zeal for You in private. Let nothing in me be a show.”
      I agree that speaking out loud or in a whisper really helps to keep my mind from wandering, as does writing prayers down. I seem to need to keep my eyes from wandering to the computer or a book or a list of things to do. Still learning, after all these years!
      As for closet praying, I see the value in the small space, the stark emptiness, the shutting out of distractions. There really is nothing else to do in there! I step out feeling like I just shared a secret with my best friend.
      I always appreciate your thoughts, my deep-thinking-friend!

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