Have you ever literally gone into a closet in your house to pray? I tried it once, to see what it would be like, and although it was dark and small, it was very private. I felt like no one in the world would know where I was, for who would ever look for me in a closet? (Unless I was playing hide-and-seek!)

I now know that the word “closet” as used here can also be translated “inner chamber, most private room, secret place.”

So what do closets have to do with prayer, if anything? What is the purpose of a closet?

I love having closet space because it helps to make my house look cleaner when friends and family come to visit, since I stuff everything into them that I don’t want lying around. The problem with closets is that It’s dangerous to open the doors because you never know if stuff will fall on you! And there is no way I can fit into a closet in my house if I ever wanted to pray in one.

The challenge for me is that I often open the door with a plan to clean out a closet, but then I start feeling overwhelmed so I shut the door, vowing to clean it out another day.

Closets are great for putting stuff away, out of sight, but hard to maintain, as more and more is stored there. The reality is that there is no room in any of my closets for me to go in and pray…which prompts me to ask whether there is too much stuff keeping me from prayer? The accumulation of a lifetime of “stuff.”

And I am reminded that there are “private rooms” in my life where I stuff my emotions, memories, and secret stuff that I don’t want anyone else to know about. The thing is that God knows all of the stuff that is stored there, and sometimes, he gently prods me to deal with the “stuff of life” that keeps me from praying and experiencing all that God has for me.

Father God, I confess that I need to let you help me clean out a closet that is keeping me from prayer. Please show me which closet that is, and help me to release the accumulated clutter. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Throughout This Day: Invite God to show you if there is an inner closet he wants to help you clean out. Is God prompting you to let him help you sort through both the “junk” and the “valuables” so that you can pray more freely, even if it’s not inside an actual closet, but in some other private space where you can focus on your relationship with God?

Tags: Daily Devotional Matthew 6
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