Developing a Habit of Prayer

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret, will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6).

When Jesus speaks of going into a secret place to seek the Father, he is talking about something much greater than a physical closet. He is referring to any place where you can be alone with him in intimate communion.

Do you have a place of prayer? Do you have a habit of shutting yourself in with God? It could be in your car while you commute to work or in your study at home. The Holy Spirit woos you and your spirit responds, “I must talk with my Father today!” Having a prayer habit, a daily practice of disciplining yourself to come before God, is vital to your spiritual growth.

Jesus warned against hypocrisy in prayer. He drew a dramatic distinction between those who seek God in the secret place and those who pray so that they can be seen by others as holy. Hypocrites are actors, people who act holy in order to receive the praise of others. Jesus said there are many such actors in his church: “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:5).

Far too many Christians do not practice a wonderful, daily communion with the Lord. The vast majority pray only in church and at meals, with perhaps a few quick words to God before going to bed. Beloved, there is absolutely no power in haphazard, on-again-off-again praying. God sees the very depths of your being and he desires for you to seek him with all your heart.

The habit of daily drawing near to God is meant for every one of us! “Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” (Psalm 119:2).