‘When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door. Then pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.’ -Matthew 6.6From Helen Machell:
I’d like to invite you into our house. It is just before a meal and after much encouragement and with the food now slightly cold, the small ones have finally made it to the table. They have worked out whose turn it is to sit on the prized yellow chair, demanded the drinks we have forgotten, worked out if they actually want to eat what is in front of them and calm has finally descended.
Before we utter the words, ‘Who would like to say thank you?’, their arms shoot up in the air, ‘Pick me, pick me,’ they both cry. We find this an easy win in how to include Jesus in our everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, there are times we forget and times no one wants to join in, but it is our constant time when we can bring Jesus into our lives. Do you say thank you for your meals?
It is not that we say or don’t say thank you, it is in fact the way that each of them says ‘grace’. One has the exact same prayer – Dear Jesus, thank you for our breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please let me enjoy *names all items on her plate* and that we all *named individually* have a good sleep with no bad dreams and only nice ones about beaches, chocolate and unicorns. Amen. It is a reminder of how Jesus teaches us to pray, to follow a formula, to keep things the same, which covers all you need (although I don’t have or want dreams about unicorns, as a small one might have!). This is then followed with the other small one’s very inaudible mumblings. At some point Amen is uttered and we eat.
What surprised me was how I was shown that these are both great ways to pray. One follows a pattern and is showing her Father in heaven a glimpse of what is happening in her world, the beginning of a personal relationship. The other is in secret and we have no idea of what is said. She is using this passage, not that she knows it. We have no idea what she is praying and I hope that she continues to talk to God in her own way, because He sees it. God sees what we do in the privacy of our homes. As we spend so much time in our homes, they become a place in which we need to connect to our Father. My prayer is that you are encouraged or challenged by what you do in the privacy of your own home as your Father in heaven sees you, and that this in turn prompts you to action, bringing Father God into your everyday life, whatever that might look like.