This article shares ways of keeping secret personal prayer and family prayer.

Source: The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, 2013. 2 pages.

How We Live in Secret

child praying

Someone once said, “A true home is one of the most sacred places.” Homes are sacred because in a true home, good secrets are kept – secrets of love and intimacy, secrets of training and discipling. Such secrets are sacred and should remain secrets. If such secrets are made public, it takes away from the sacredness of the home, and those who dwell in it will have lost something precious. Therefore let your good secrets of home life remain secret!

Personal secret prayer🔗

One of the most precious secrets of home life is our personal prayer life. By it we express our love for the Lord and through it we experience intimacy with Him. Jesus once said, “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” (Matt. 6:6). With “closet” and a “shut door,” Jesus no doubt means to encourage us to that secret life of personal prayer.

How precious it is when we intimate to the Lord how we want to love Him, and yet how we have failed to love Him as He deserves. Pleading His forgiveness is never in vain for it is sure to be answered in love. As you may know from experience, it is not easy to confess our failures in public. It might not even be fruitful to elaborate on our past or present sin. But in personal secret prayer, nothing should hold us back to confess our big sins and our little sins, even our sins of thought. What relief it brings to our troubled soul, as it pleases the Lord, when we confess in some detail where we have gone wrong! David expressed this in Psalm 51, choosing his words carefully to describe his sin as “transgression,” “iniquity,” and “evil.” Personal secret prayer is the way, as David anticipated, to “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17).

It can be useful in the right company and for the spiritual benefit of others to express publicly our longings after Christ and our desire to depart and to be with Him, as Paul once did as expressed in Philippians 1. But such public expressions can be misunderstood and construed as a desire to escape life’s difficulties. However, such expressions of longing and desire after Christ in personal secret prayer are never misunderstood by our Savior. He Himself yearns to have us with Him and to be one with Him. After all, He prayed for this Himself: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am” (John 17:24). Our personal, secret prayer of such longing, heard only by Him, can be used by His Spirit to draw us closer to Him. A true home provides for such personal, secret prayer.

Is your home a true home? Does it provide you such personal secret prayer times? Do you have those intimate times with the Lord? Do they stimulate you to be open and honest with Him concerning your failures and shortcom­ings, but also concerning your longings and desires? It is part of the secret life lived in a sacred place called home.

Family secret prayer🔗

A true home is one of the most sacred places also for providing a secret place and time for the prayer life of husband and wife together and of parents with our children. How tender the moments are when you as a young married couple can bow the knee before the Lord and pray for the gift of a child! How sweet the times are when a husband and wife together can clasp hands and speak to the Lord about their daily needs and struggles, and thank Him for daily joys. When we have failed to love each other uprightly, it is a blessing to be able to confess such failure to the Lord together and that often becomes the moment our love for each other is revived. When we see our teenager going astray, we can “storm the throne of grace” together and find encouragement in what the Lord will do. Secret prayer together – at home!

praying children

Then there are those precious moments when you can disciple your little one to pray before bedtime. You show her how to go on her knees at her bedside and you kneel right next to her and with words she understands, she repeats after you, “Now I lay me down to sleep...” You will have set a pattern in secret that will be hard for her to set aside. No doubt you will have other precious opportunities to pray with your children, especially as they get into their teenage years and when they become young adults. Troubles at school? Challenges in learning? What to do about young love? Staying single? Whom to marry? All of these, and more, are precious opportunities to sit down with your child and go to the Lord in prayer. All of it makes home a sacred place for secret prayer.

How do you and I live in secret, behind the closed doors of our homes? Let your secrets be wholesome secrets­ secrets that are precious to you, secrets that draw you closer to your Father in heaven, secrets that build your loving togetherness as husband and wife, secrets that your children will cherish because Mom and Dad cared enough not only to pray for them but to pray with them. Multiply these good secrets because they will enhance your godly living in your home and help to keep out any bad secrets.

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