Shutting out Distractions

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When you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:6).

How often do I really “shut the door” in private prayer? Multiple device media has retrained our minds to expect distractions. Giving God full attention seems near impossible in our day. If we could only turn back the clock to when life proved simpler. 

Yet, even in 1931, Samuel Chadwick struggled with preoccupation. In his classic, The Path of Prayer, he said, “A body may just as well be roaming at large as be shut in with a wandering mind.” How do we get alone with God when distractions follow us through the closed door?

A simple Quaker statement reminds us to “Begin small and start promptly.” The Lord’s Prayer begins with hallowing our Heavenly Father, and it’s best we do the same. Let’s start by remembering to Whom we are praying. After all, we do not slip into the inner room to be alone. We enter to find God. 

With His Word in our laps, search out sections that evoke your thoughts to mediate on Who He is. Read through the verse quietly, then return over the words to pray them back to God. Thank Him and compliment the value of each characteristic. Seek to see Him as a Person Whose attributes you adore. Use an interlinear resource like Blue Letter Bible to find your verse, and use the “tools” tab to find original meanings in Greek or Hebrew. 

Choose one of the following scriptures as a starting point:

1 Chronicles 29:10-13

Psalm 8

Psalm 18:1-3, 30-36

Song of Songs 5:10-16 

Ezekiel 1:26-28

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

1 Timothy 6:15-16

Revelation 1:12-16

Hover over a segment until genuine praise arises over at least one attribute.

Dr. S. D. Gordon tells of an old Christian woman whose age began to tell on her memory. She had once known much of the Bible by heart. Eventually, only one precious bit stayed with her. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I committed unto Him against that day.”

By and by, part of that slipped its hold, and she would quietly repeat, “That which I have committed unto Him.” At last, as she hovered on the borderline between this and the spirit world, her loved ones noticed her lips moving. They bent down to see if she needed anything. She was repeating over and over again to herself the one word of the text, “Him, Him, Him.

May the Father teach us how to approach Him afresh daily, leaving all shadows on the other side of the door.


 Gordon’s illustration taken from Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (p. 239). Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc