Prayer: A Hidden Ministry
Pastor E. A. Adeboye
Memorise: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”- 1 Timothy 2:1
Read: Matthew 6:6-13 (KJV)
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Bible in One Year: Numbers 7, Jeremiah 51:59-52:11
Prayer is a powerful means of communicating with God. The great thing about prayer in the era of the new covenant in Jesus’ Blood is that there is no need to say prayers in any special location or facing any particular direction for God to hear us. God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth; therefore, the location where prayer is made is of little importance. (John 4:24).
A careful consideration of Scripture shows that prayer was offered to God in a variety of places. In Acts 3:1, Peter and John went into the temple to pray, while in Acts 1:13-14, prayer took place in the upper room of a house. In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas prayed in prison, and in Acts 16:13, prayers were said at the bank of a river. In Acts 20:36-38, the brethren prayed together at the waterfront. Further still, in 1 Corinthians 1:4and several other Bible passages, prayer was made through the writing of letters.
Now, even though we often pray outwardly and in public places, prayer is more or less a hidden ministry. A powerful and successful prayer life is born and sustained in the hidden place of the prayer closet. We learn this from Christ’s teaching on prayer and also from observing His prayer life. Although the Bible records Him praying publicly on several occasions, Jesus taught us to pray in the closet, behind closed doors, where confidential matters can be discussed between God and man. In Matthew 6:6, He said:
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
Jesus also lived by this principle. In Matthew 14:23, He went up alone into the mountain to pray, while in Luke 11:1, He was found praying alone in a “certain place”. In Luke 9:18, even while in the company of His disciples, Jesus was said to be alone praying. This indicates that Jesus entered into the prayer closet despite having people around. He kept the focus of His prayers, i.e. his prayer points, private and confidential. He took His prayer as a secret between Himself and the invisible God, who gives answers to secret prayers in the open.
It is therefore necessary and wise for Christians to treat prayer as a hidden ministry. Daniel did exploits through prayer but he kept his prayers behind closed doors and strictly confidential (Daniel 6:10, Daniel 9:3). In essence, prayer champions are usually unnoticed, and the prayer that move mountains are often made privately. Develop your private prayer life today, and you will receive wonderful testimonies that call for celebration.
Father, please let my hidden prayers turn to testimonies today, in Jesus’ Name.
Hymn 8: My Faith Looks Up To Thee
1 My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary,
Now hear me while I pray,
Take all my guilt away,
Oh, let me from this day
Be wholly Thine!
2 May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart,
My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me,
Oh, may my love to Thee
Pure, warm, and changeless be,
A living fire!
3 While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread,
Be Thou my guide;
Bid darkness turn to day,
Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray
From Thee aside.
4 When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold, sullen stream
Shall o’er me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love,
Fear and distrust remove;
Oh, bear me safe above,
A ransomed soul!