Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (ESV)
Distractions abound today. Social media, email, YouTube, television, text messages, and iPods are just a few of the distractions all of us have succumb to in the last five minutes. Multi-tasking has reached it’s zenith in our everyday lives. And, I believe that these modern day conveniences have become our greatest hinderances to our devotional life.
In Matthew 6:6 Jesus speaks of prayer and getting alone with God. He commanded that we go in secret to our closets, or our rooms to commune with God. Yet, if you continue in the same verse He says “shut the door.” It’s not good enough to enter the confines of the prayer closet if the door is wide open.
This reference to the prayer closet might certainly mean a physical closet, with a physical door to be shut. And we should find a place of solitude such as Jesus did. Jesus went to the mountains, His prayer closet was somewhere alone communicating with His heavenly Father. So, Jesus’ prayer closet wasn’t a physical closet with Sunday’s clothes hanging nicely from their wooden hangers.
Our prayer lives, and times of devotions are suffering because we have the door standing open. Distractions are getting the best of us because we refuse to shut the door to them. How many of us take our iPhones with us to pray? How many keep our laptops open while we study? How many of us text during our times of devotion?
And let me just get on my hobby horse and rock for a moment. I highly doubt you are truly in prayer and communing with God if you are tweeting all that God is supposedly speaking to you. You are simply standing on the corner making long prayer to be heard of many people. The door to your prayer closet is in need of being shut. If you are truly entering the prayer closet people will see the fruit for themselves and they won’t have to be told.
I believe we need to shut the door to every distraction to our devotional time. I had to stop listening to music while I prayed because I kept shuffling song to song. Not only that, I seen that I was keeping time while I prayed simply by how long my play list lasted. I had to shut the door. Before I go to prayer now, I check all my email as I walk from the bed to the coffee pot to my prayer closet. But while I’m praying and reading my Bible I keep my iPhone away from where I spend my time. I’m shutting the door to distractions.
Let’s get our devotional lives in order. Let’s enter the privacy of the prayer closet and shut the door behind us. I want to give Jesus my undivided attention.