S76P8 – The posture of prayer: undivided attention

Matt. 6:6

But you, 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.

Growing up in a house with seven siblings certainly had its perks.  For starters, she never had to worry about being lonely.  There was always someone at home willing to play with her or go on an adventure.  The fact that she was one of the middle children made it even better.  She had big brothers and sisters to protect her and little brothers and sisters to look up to her.  Of course, living in a household so large was not all roses.  If she had to choose one thing to change, it would be the fact that all of those children had to share the attention of only two parents.  Mom and dad were nothing but loving and nurturing, but she wished she could have more time alone with them, time that was just her own.

Our time in prayer to God is meant to be a time of intimacy.  It seems like that might be an impossibility considering how many people are offering up prayers to God at any given moment.  Specifically, there are times when we will pray in community as a body, and we certainly know that God is engaging with more than just one of us.  The thing is, our Father in heaven is not like our natural fathers.  God is able to devote his undivided attention to me and you at the same time.  Although we share him, we never need to feel like we do.  He is able to supply everything we need, which includes alone time with him.  Even if He is spending alone time with everyone else, there is room for us to capture his undivided attention.

The picture of the lone Christian praying to God in private conjures up several ideas.  For me, it is the quintessential picture of one being alone but not at all lonely.  There is a special magic when I can seclude myself from everyone yet be wrapped in the arms of the almighty God.  In those moments of prayer, I feel like I have him all to myself if even for only a little while.  Let us take the time to give to God that which He gives to us.  Let us be intentional about giving him our undivided attention in prayer.  We might want that desperately, but rest assured that He wants that for us even more.  Father, thank You that You somehow allow us to have moments with You all to ourselves, and remind us that You are there with every part of yourself when we call.