Jesus didn’t say, “Daydream about your Father.” He said, “Pray to your Father.” Prayer is an effort of will. The most difficult thing to do after we’ve gone into our room and shut the door is to actually pray. We struggle to get our minds into working order; we struggle to rein in our wandering thoughts. The great battle in private prayer is overcoming this indulgence in aimless daydreaming. We have to discipline our minds and learn to concentrate on willful prayer.

We take care to select a specific place for prayer, but when we get there the plague of flies begins. Thoughts about all the things we have to do go buzzing through our minds. “Close the door,” Jesus says. To enter a secret silence is to deliberately shut the door on emotions and anxieties and open the door to God. God sees us in the secret place. He does not see us as other people see us, nor as we see ourselves. When we live in the secret place, it becomes impossible for us to doubt him. We become more certain of him than of anything else.

Your Father, Jesus says, is unseen; he “sees what is done in secret.” You can enter the secret place no matter where you are. Even in the hustle and bustle of daily life, you will always find God. Get into the habit of going to him about everything and learn to start every day in his presence. Unless you fling the door to your mind wide and let God enter in your first waking moment, you will work on a wrong level all day long. But if at first light, you swing the door open and pray to your Father in secret, everything you do in public for the rest of the day will be stamped with his presence.

Wisdom from Oswald

Wherever the providence of God may dump us down, in a slum, in a shop, in the desert, we have to labour along the line of His direction. Never allow this thought—“I am of no use where I am,” because you certainly can be of no use where you are not! Wherever He has engineered your circumstances, pray. So Send I You, 1325 L