Prayer— Battle in “The Secret Place”

When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly —Matthew 6:6

Jesus did not say, “Dream about your Father who is in the secret place,” but He said, “. . . pray to your Father who is in the secret place. . . .” Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place and shut the door, the most difficult thing to do is to pray. We cannot seem to get our minds into good working order, and the first thing we have to fight is wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this problem of our idle and wandering thinking. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful, deliberate prayer.

We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, “This needs to be done, and I have to do that today.” Jesus says to “shut your door.” Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. God is in secret, and He sees us from “the secret place”— He does not see us as other people do, or as we see ourselves. When we truly live in “the secret place,” it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into “the secret place,” and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless you learn to open the door of your life completely and let God in from your first waking moment of each new day, you will be working on the wrong level throughout the day. But if you will swing the door of your life fully open and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place,” every public thing in your life will be marked with the lasting imprint of the presence of God.

by Oswald Chambers

A Model for Prayer

Colossians 1:10-14

Let’s continue using Paul’s prayer for the Colossians as a model. Yesterday, we studied his first two requests—understanding God’s will and living a worthy life. Now let’s consider the other four:

• To bear fruit in every good work (v. 10). The Lord desires for our actions to bring Him glory. We all seem to be very busy, but are the activities that fill our time eternally valuable?

• To grow in the knowledge of God (v. 10). Through books, sermons, and technology, a wealth of information about the Bible is available. But the apostle’s request is not only for believers to gain facts regarding Christ. He speaks of an understanding in the heart, not simply a mental grasp of knowledge.

• To be strengthened according to His power (v. 11)
. We are weak when relying on our own strength. Sometimes it takes being driven to our knees before we will relinquish control and instead trust in the Lord’s awesome power. Maintaining endurance and focus in the midst of our difficulties requires energy beyond our own.

• To walk in gratitude (v. 12). When we realize where all good gifts originate, we can live with thankfulness. Contentment and joy come from a grateful heart, not from circumstances.

In the busyness of today’s world, prayer often gets squeezed out of our schedules. But communion with the Lord is vital to a healthy, vibrant relationship with Him. Remember that lifting our loved ones before God’s throne is far more important than many tasks which seem more pressing.

Dead to Sin–Alive Unto God

“For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20)

One of the greatest doctrinal truths of the Bible is that the Christian life is one of victory over sin. The law of God has condemned us as lawbreakers (James 2:10), but Christ died for our sins, and “ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4).

We should live in victory over sin, but somehow we still stumble. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” The remedy for such lapses is at hand, of course. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

Nevertheless, if Christ is really living in us by His Spirit, if we have really been born again, then we cannot continue to live in sin. “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Romans 6:2). “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (vv. 6-7).

The secret to making this doctrine practical reality in our lives is simply the motivation of gratitude. In the words of our text, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We already have the necessary resources: forgiveness, freedom from guilt, eternal life, and the indwelling Spirit of Christ. We must simply avail ourselves of His power, because He loved us and saved us. “Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). HMM

According as His divine power hath given unto us all things

According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.—2 Peter 1:3.

WE often try in vain to cut up our errors by the roots, to fight evil hand to hand on its own ground, where it has us at a disadvantage, whereas our most sure way to victory is by developing and fortifying the good that is in us. We have but a certain measure of strength and activity; as much of this as is added to the good is taken from the evil. MADAME SWETCHINE.

I think you will find that it is not by making resolutions in a difficulty that you will conquer a fault—tackling it, I mean,—but much more by opening a window to Almighty God, and letting Him speak to you. As long as we are young we set so much importance on our own efforts, whereas often, if we will just do nothing but listen quietly to what God has to say to us, we shall find that He sets us thinking and mending our faults by a quiet way which looks as though it had nothing to do with it; and then, when we come to about where our fault used to be, we find it gone, imperceptibly as it were, by our having been strengthened in another direction which lay, though we did not know it, at the real root of the matter. HENRIETTA KERR.

I have made, and I will bear

I have made, and I will bear. Isaiah 46:4

Thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. — Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you.

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the LORD alone did lead him. — He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. — For I am persuaded, that neither … height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Isaiah 43:1,2. Isaiah 46:4. Deuteronomy 32:11,12. Isaiah 63:9. Hebrews 13:8. Romans 8:38,39. Isaiah 49:15.

I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee

I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3

We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. — God … hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. — Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

2 Thessalonians 2:13,14. 2 Timothy 1:9. Psalm 139:16. John 3:16. 1 John 4:10.