Faye Bryant

WHEN you pray, not IF

Jesus said, “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

Let’s dissect this just a bit. First we see that us praying is an expectation. Jesus doesn’t say “If you pray…” He says WHEN you pray. Believers are expected to be in conversation with the Father. 

Secondly, this goes along with His other teachings about the religious folk who liked to be seen doing their religious things. Believers who are serious about their faith, who approach the God of the Universe in prayer do so in secret places, unseen by the rest of the world. They don’t do it so that they are deemed more faithful, no one else knows. 

Lastly, Almighty God knows our comings and goings. He knows our thoughts and dreams. He hears our tiniest whisper, the one that comes from our hearts, not our lips. He hears and He sees everything and will bless us according to that. 

That sounds so good, doesn’t it? To think we’ll be rewarded for praying in secret? 

It sure does! Except…
We need to realize that He sees and hears 
E V E R Y T H I N G. 
That means our outside-the-prayer-place life should match our inside-the-prayer-place life. We can’t be different people in different places. If we are truly His, we’re going to be changing into someone who looks, talks, and acts like Him so that others are drawn to Him. 

Does that mean we’ll be weird? Possibly. 
Does it mean we’ll toss tables and snap a whip? Not so likely.
Does it mean we’re going to talk in parables? Probably not. 
What it does mean is that we’ll love like Him – whether “they” deserve it or not. We’ll encourage like Him, giving real truthful praise to people. (That means we’re paying attention, y’all.) We’ll talk about God and be prepared to give godly answers to questions. 

That time behind the closed door spent in prayer with the Father is a give-and-take time. We should spend at least as much time listening to Him as we do speaking. (No, that doesn’t mean He’ll speak audibly. We listen through the Book and our spirit. Note: if what you ‘hear’ in your spirit is contrary to the Book, it’s not from God.) When we hear from God and follow His ways, we’ll lift Jesus up and He will draw all people to Himself and the Kingdom will grow. 

Do you have to have dedicated space in a closet or room where you can go? It’s nice, but if you don’t, that’s okay. Any place where you can go to be alone with God is a good place. You may not be able to have notes on the wall, but you can have them in your Bible or in a journal. Carve out time and space – even if it means rising early or staying up late. It WILL be worth it. 

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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