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The Secret Place

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In college, I would often play gigs at local coffee shops to make extra money. I’d find coffee shops throughout town, ask if they needed live music, and then grab my guitar and my gear and play a show. I would typically have weeks to prepare for my shows. However, I sometimes found myself “winging it” and deciding spontaneously on the day of the show what songs I was going to perform that night. If I didn’t have time to practice, I would perform from my repertoire of “reserve” songs I knew well and could play in my sleep.

Just recently, God showed me this same type of “winging it” mentality, I often brought into my prayer time with Him. Isn’t it amazing when God highlights an area we need to grow in, it does not come with condemnation (Romans 8:1), but with conviction from the Holy Spirit? Maybe you have found yourself in this place also. Or maybe, as you are reading this devotional right now, you too can resonate with making your prayer life casual. I will be the first to raise my hand and say, I found myself guilty of living off the “reserves” in my prayer time with the Lord. Because I had been walking with Christ for a while, it was easy to get out of a rhythm of continual prayer conversation. So much so that my prayers would be activated in moments where there was a need, someone was sick, the car broke down, or in a church service, but not in my everyday moments. This type of prayer life is common in the life of a believer, but it is not the abundant life God calls us to. He wants us to live from a full well, a full reserve, not an empty one. So, in order to do that, we must get in the secret place. 

Matthew 6:5-6 (NLT) says:

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

People often refer to this place of private prayer and fellowship with the Lord as the “secret place.” This is a place that Jesus, our Savior, often withdrew to (Luke 5:15-16). We see all throughout Scripture other mighty men and women of God—like Abraham, David, Daniel, Elijah, and Paul, just to name a few—often praying in the secret and private place. Do I pray to be noticed by others or to be in communion with the Lord? Scripture is clear: if my intention is wrong, that is the only reward I will get (Matthew 6:5). Jesus is calling us into something deeper, and that is intimate and private fellowship with the Lord. Just as you wouldn’t have the deepest and most intimate conversation with your spouse in public, Christ calls us into this same type of relationship. To be fully known, fully intimate with our Creator.

Intimacy builds connection and when we close the door and allow ourselves to be in intimate fellowship with the Lord, His spirit rests there. That is a place where healing takes place, callings are activated, anointing comes, and fresh fire from heaven refills our weary souls. 

Do you find yourself praying only when around others? Maybe at the dinner table, in a small group, or with your family members? If so, God wants to deepen your prayer life today. He wants to invite you into an intimate conversation that is ongoing fellowship with Him. 

Don’t know where to start? Start here. Start now. Take five minutes, close your door, and meet with the Savior of the world. He is waiting and once you begin, you will keep going back to this place of prayer, for it never runs dry.


Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. 

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About The Author

Marissa Nordlum

Since 2021, Marissa Nordlum has been CBN's email analyst and devotional writer. She has a passion for the local church and loves seeing creative writing edified in music and written content. Her background is in church ministry, where she served as a youth pastor and worship leader. She lives with her husband and their three sons in Arizona.

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