“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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling
like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of
their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father
knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:6-8
This is a secret to prayer: Your Father is already in the secret
place, waiting for you. The moment you get into the secret place,
you are in the presence of God. No matter what you are feeling when you enter the secret place, know with certainty that you have stepped into a hidden chamber with God.
To “shut the door” can be literal or taken symbolically. What does the shut door represent? It closes off distraction, keeps others out, keeps you focused, symbolizes intimacy of a husband and wife. A shut door tells others that you are concentrating on something or working, do not want to be disturbed, etc.
Even when you are in a secret place that doesn’t have a physical door, you still want to “shut the door” so your heart can be fixed on Jesus.
He calls us to get away with Him and so we must purpose in our heart to be “all there” when we meet with Him. Just as if we were hanging out with a friend. Friendship grows because we choose to spend time together, talking and sharing and doing activities together. It’s the same thing that Jesus longs for. He is looking for friends. When you get into the secret place, put distractions aside.
Jesus knew the principle of the shut door. We read throughout the Gospels that “Jesus withdrew to a solitary place” (Matthew 14:13), “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16), “Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray and spent the night praying to God,” (Luke 6:12). What do these places all have in common? Why is that environment conducive to listening?
Jesus knew the key to receiving from His Father—he met with Him in the secret place. He shut the door to hear from heaven. Jesus put aside all distractions to tune His ear to the one voice which He longed to hear, His loving Father.