“But you, 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, NKJV)
I enjoy eating out—a night free from cooking and a time to relax with friends! Often there will be several of us together, and conversations just swirl around the table. One person might be relating a happening at work to another. Across the table, someone else shares a funny story with the one beside her. I hear snatches of conversations around me as I tell yet another friend about an event from my day. Mix in the noise of other diners as well as background music, and the decibels rise. This is not the time for any deep discussions; we are only chatting.
Other times, I may go out with just one or two friends. I usually say, “Let’s choose somewhere quiet so we can talk.” (Tip: Little family-operated restaurants are often the quietest.) It is difficult, if not impossible, to have a meaningful conversation in the midst of activity and noise. If I want to open my heart about a situation or seek advice, I choose a quiet place free from distraction. For that same reason, my “heart talks” with God also take place away from the frenzied activity of the day. I meet Him in quietness and solitude.
First Chronicles 17:16 (NET) tells of a time when King David “went in, sat before the LORD.” He did not rush in or hurry through the meeting. Instead, he approached God with quiet humility and expectant waiting. David recognized that although he was a king, he approached One much greater. “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my family, that you should have brought me to this point?” He felt wonder at the presence of the Lord. As he communed there, his understanding of God grew. “O LORD, there is none like you; there is no God besides you! What we heard is true!” (verse 20).
The words that we use to describe these alone times with God—quiet time, personal devotion, prayer time—hardly describe what can take place when we leave behind the hubbub and hurry of the world. We shut the door on its distractions and dedicate the next while to just Him. There, sitting at His feet, we find refreshing for our soul and direction for our lives. We learn of Him in ways we never could in the rush of life. We only hear God’s still small voice (I Kings 19:12) in the silence of the secret place.
Some people find silence uncomfortable. They have difficulty sitting quietly without conversation. When we are with someone we do not know well, we tend to fill the void with words. Where a deep relationship exists, silence is not intimidating. A profound understanding and intimacy transcend mere words. Sometimes just being together is enough. How much more should our relationship with God reach this level of unity?
Circumstances may sometimes prevent us from literally shutting the door as we meet our Lord; but wherever we are, we can still mentally find a place of quiet communion. His presence always surrounds us. As we grow in our walk with God, we develop an awareness of His nearness and presence. He is as close as the whispered invitation, “Let’s meet.”
The more time we spend with God, the more we long to spend time with Him. Sitting before Him we find rest and restoration.
Lord, I enjoy the quiet intimacy we share when I meet You in Your secret place. I shut the door to the clamor of the world and relax in Your presence. As I sit at Your feet, I can share my heart with You.