Sunday, May 6, 2012

Praying in the Closet

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I remember reading Hamlet when I was in high school and having a 'What??' moment, which recurred when I saw the community theater production of that show last spring.  There's a line when Ophelia, describing Hamlet's crazy overtures, begins her narrative by saying, 'I was sewing in my closet..'

I had the mental picture of her sitting in a teeny room, amidst hanging gowns, mending a torn hem in truly pitiful lighting.  Because, you know, in 2012 that's what a 'closet' means. Generally.

But today our Pastor touched on the verse that says 'go into your closet and pray', and I decided to have a look at that verse (Matt 6:6) .  Here're the renderings:

King James: But thou, when thou prayest,  enter into thy closet, and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...

AMP: But when you pray, go into your most private room, and closing the door, pray to your Father Who sees in secret...

NASB: But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret...

NIV: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen.

Suddenly the application of  'closet' rights itself; in Elizabethan England, it was the innermost, most private room.  Not clothes storage. 

Now, in the context of that passage, Jesus is contrasting the folks who make big showy prayers in front of others so that they will be thought to be holy and spiritual and make an impression on the hearers with the way He wants His disciples to privacy, with no theatrics or fancy language.

But today, for the umpteenth time I think, I was struck with the other aspect of going into the 'closet' to pray...the intimacy with God that results when we intentionally take time from the day to spend with Him and deliberately block out all distractions.

And I got all convicted again because my time with God is not spent all focused, with no distractions.  It's in snatches, the inbetweens.  Not exactly the leftovers, but not prime time, either.

And I was challenged...what if I *really* did this consistently?  Set apart time and blocked out the distractions?

You precious souls who have been following this journey of mine for a while know how many times I have set out to do that and then fizzled out on it.  But, once more, my friends, I pick myself up, brush myself off, and determine to start afresh...thanking God all over again for those mercies which are new every morning.

1 comment:

  1. Very timely post - it's always hard to carve out that time for one-on-one with God. But very worth it when we do.