Written by Tom Hoehner

 

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  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 6:5-8

 

Jesus cautions us here not to display our piety before men.    Why?.........because we are all sinners so making such a display is  hypocritical.  The closet place of prayer is a special place. Over the years I have discovered that if I am faithful to the discipline of prayer, that I come to the place where God calls me to pray for specific people and specific situations.

 

My parents' generation called it a "burden" to pray.   Mom would say, "God has put a burden on my heart to pray for thus and such."  When this happens, stop whatever you are doing and pray.......  if you don't the burden will lift, and you will have missed an opportunity to intercede for something  really important. Sometimes you will find yourself overcome with emotion and you are not sure why, but you know it is a call from God to pray.

 

Scripture also tells us that wherever two or three of us agree as touching any one thing it shall come to pass.  This is corporate prayer........ agreement that brings power and God's intervention in a situation. Both closet prayer and corporate prayer are vital cogs in our prayer life.

 

Be sensitive today to the voice of God and if He impresses you to pray for a person or situation follow through on that. 

 

When it happens to me it is sort of "out of the blue" and sometimes it is someone that I have not had contact with for a very long time.    I still pray for my government and Spanish teachers from high school because God puts them on my heart.

 

If God impresses you to pray for a certain person and you are able to contact them, sometimes I will get in touch and just say something like........" I'm not sure why but for some reason you are on my heart today."  Be prepared to do some counseling............nothing opens up a person to ministry like the knowledge that God is putting them on someone's heart.