But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 (emphasis mine)
Today, I was spending some time going over notes I took from The Prayer Room (John Paul Jackson), as well as, notes and Scripture from my own study in the Word. Matthew 6:6 grabbed my attention, especially where Jesus says to “go into your room, close the door and pray…” It made me think of the story of the widow’s oil.
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”
Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”
Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”
She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”
But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” 2 Kings 4:1-7 (emphasis mine)
The widow was told by the prophet Elisha to gather jars from her neighbors – and not just a few. I imagine all of her neighbors knew the predicament she was in. Her husband was dead and his creditor was coming to take her two boys away as slaves. This would have left her destitute. She would have no family, no home, no money, no food – nothing! She was desperate!
She cries out to the man of God, seeking help. He tells her to do something that doesn’t make any sense. I’m pretty sure the neighbors were curious as to why she was gathering jars. I wonder if she told anyone what she was doing.
She goes inside, shuts the door behind her and her sons, and begins pouring oil – and it just keeps flowing! One by one she fills the jars until there are none left!
What would have happened had she left the door open? The miracle happened in secret – behind closed doors. Had she left the door open, I’m sure she would have been subject to her neighbors comments and disbelief at what she was believing in. There would have also been the possibility of the creditor showing up to take away the boys. Keeping the door closed kept them shut in, and safe, until the miracle was complete. Not only did she have enough oil to pay off the creditor, but she and her boys were able to live off of the rest!
It is in the quiet – the secret place – that we can hear the voice of God. When we are out in the open, it is difficult to hear His still, small voice. When we are faced with a problem, it is wise to seek godly counsel (like the widow did with Elisha). But how do you think the story would have ended had she also sought the advice of all of those neighbors she borrowed jars from? I imagine after listening to one or two of those neighbors, she probably would have lost the faith needed for the miracle to happen. Even well-meaning neighbors would have had a difficult time believing that a miracle was about to happen.
What are you believing God for? What miracle do you need to happen? Have you shut the door and prayed? Or have you taken it to everyone around you…or worse, taken it to social media?
Go inside and shut the door behind you! Shut out the voice of the world and allow the whisper of God to guide and direct you. He is faithful to take care of your needs.
If you have shut the door, then take heart – your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I believe miracles happen behind closed doors…when we are down on our knees crying out to the One who is everything we need. When we actually see a miracle happen, it is because someone, somewhere has interceded and the time for that miracle has come to pass.