Monday, April 5th Matthew 6:5-6

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6

Lent has ended; Easter has come. We’ll spend the next 50 days thinking about post-resurrection life. But before we move on, let’s think a bit about what Lent taught us.

So how did you do? Did you climb the lofty heights of spiritual supremacy? Did you scale the cliffs of sublime humility? Did you taste the manna of religious ecstasy? Did you make it through a single week without kicking the dog?

The best ideas in the world eventually turn into work. So it is with Lent. If Lent teaches us anything, it is that following Jesus in a disciplined way requires discipline. There is an unalterable “one day at a time” character to our relationship with God.

This week I want to talk about spending time with God on a daily basis – how to work mini-retreats, little Lents, into our daily lives.

Today the reminder is to create moments of quietness on a daily basis.

Jesus invites us in Matthew 6 to “go into our room and shut the door.” Originally Jesus spoke these words to discourage spiritual pride and showing off. That is hardly our problem today when it comes to prayer – we are far more apt to simply not do it then we are to do it loudly, grandly and publically!

In our day, creating quiet moments of prayer falls more into the category of taking care of ourselves, tending our relationship with God and finding our center.

Parents of young children understand this principle – the room they most often retreat into is the bathroom. Ask any young mother and they will tell of a time when they cowered behind the locked doors of their bathroom – toddlers and others banging on the door looking for those precious items that mothers alone keep constant and vigilant track of – praying for the strength to make it through another day.

How do we find those moments?

We get up a little earlier in the morning. We designate a quiet place in our home and use it. We turn off the music in the car. We ask our secretaries to hold our calls. We discover the bathroom at work is just as private as the bathroom of a toddler’s parent. We walk at lunch. We make some time and take some time to sit quietly with God.

Use that time to lift up concerns for others or just wait on the Spirit to feed you in the quietness of your meditation. I absolutely guarantee that there are nothing but positive benefits on the other side of doing this discipline three to five days a week!

Can you find some quiet time in your day today?

Let us pray: Thank you for this new week, Lord. Thank you for the opportunities you will give us this week to stretch and grow as people of faith. Give us fresh insight into the growth places in our lives and help us try on new disciplines that will enable us to enjoy our relationship with you in positive, life affirming, life giving ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

2 Responses to “Monday, April 5th Matthew 6:5-6”

  1. Marietta Witt Says:

    As a new user (only a week or so) when you disappeared last week I thought, “I guess he doesn’t manage to post every day,” and knowing how hectic Lent and Holy Week is for a Pastor, I wasn’t much surprised – but disappointed.
    Then when I saw that you had to deal with your computer dying just as Holy Week began ….! Whew! How awful.
    Anyway, welcome back.
    I like today’s posting as that’s exactly why I’m here – trying to find out how to make that regular connection with God.
    Marietta Witt

  2. Walter Kovaciny Says:

    Thanks for the insite of todays thoughts. After Easter worship, I had made a comment to several people at church, “Well, we made it through Holy Week 2010”. I’ve always known there was the 6 weeks after Easter before entering the Pentecost season of the church year. With my church going through a vacancy period, I’m writing the ‘Pastor’s’ letter for the monthly newsletter, along with the entire newsletter. As such, I’ve been looking for timely topics to write about. Your letters for the next week and beyond will give me some interesting thoughts to write about. Thanks.

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