Have you ever wondered why the Bible doesn’t give more detailed accounts of the prayers of Jesus when He would go off onto a mountainside or somewhere else alone to be with His Father and pray? He answers that indirectly with this instruction about prayer in what we call ‘the sermon on the mount.’ Consider this uncomplicated, direct counsel from the Lord Jesus concerning the need for us to be alone with God.

“But when you pray, go into your

[most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.” Matthew 6:6

Growth in the spiritual life depends a great deal on prayer. There is no substitute for time spent in personal, private prayer. In the words of Jesus quoted above, we have some vital guidelines for prayer that will have results:

Be alone with God

That is the first guiding principle. Though group prayer is excellent, there are those times when the door must be shut, with the world and people outside, because I am to hold undisturbed communion with my Father. Time and time again, we see from the Word of God that when God met with His servants, He took them to be alone with Him. A few example of the principle “alone with God” are seen in Genesis 18:22-23; 22:5 and Exodus 33:11.

Let your first thoughts in these solitary prayer times be, “God and I are here in this ‘room’ with each other.”

Be in the presence of your Father

That is the second thought from the passage above. You come to the place alone, because your Father with His love awaits you there. Although you might feel cold and sinful, your thoughts dark, and your life stormy—although you doubt whether you can pray at all—still, come close because the Father is there and He looks upon you. Let yourself rest under the light of His eye. Believe in His tender Fatherly love, and out of this, faith in His faithfulness and cleansing will come, and prayer will be born.

Be certain of an answer

This is the third very important point in the words of Jesus. “Your Father will reward you openly.” The power of prayer rests in the faith and certainty that God hears it. It is this knowing that gives us the courage to pray. It is faith that is the encouragement to be comfortable and at peace in the presence of the Father. The moment I understand that God hears me, I will pray and persevere in prayer. “My God will hear me.” What a wonderful certainty! It isn’t because I am worthy or wonderful. No, it is always and only because of Who He is. There are thousands of witnesses to that fact. We have had experiences of this in our lives. We have had Jesus come from heaven with the message that if we ask, the Father will give. (For further assurance, see Psalm 4:3, 17:6 and Isaiah 30:19.)

Meditate of this call to prayer by Andrew Murray:

“If there is one thing about which you must be conscientious, it is this – secret conversation with God. Your life is hidden with Christ in God. Everyday you must, in prayer, ask from above and by faith receive what you need for that day. Every day, personal communion with the Father and the Lord Jesus must be renewed and strengthened. God is our salvation and our strength. Christ is our life and our holiness. Only in personal fellowship with the living God is our blessedness found.”