The fundamental motivation for establishing fellowship and intimacy with God is Christ-likeness, that is, developing a Christ-like character by strengthening our faith through the absolute truth of God’s Word in concert with a living communion with Him—prayer. (Visit our post on this site: “Learning to Pray Scripture”)
“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” Romans 8:29a
And this all begins and is sustained in the secret closet of prayer. Why? Because one’s spiritual life will never rise above the practice of one’s private prayer life in solitude with God. This truth applies to other contexts as well. For instance, the spiritual life of a marriage will never rise above both husband and wife praying together. Similarly, the spiritual life of a congregation will not rise above the its members’ practice of prayer; leaders and laity on their faces before God continuously, conspicuously and conscientiously.
This is not easy, but most challenging. The ministry of prayer (irrespective of the level: private, two praying, small group or congregational) is to be the ministry to all other ministry, and without it we limit God’s chosen method of work. For He gave the mandate, “My house will be called a house of prayer.”(Mt. 21:13) He didn’t say, “My house will be called a social center, preaching place or a learning institute,” even though we do all these things, but He mandated that underneath all our activity there must be this fundamental or foundational ministry of prayer. For when prayer is meager, invariably it can be traced to the fact that it is supplemental rather than foundational.
So, this all begins with you and me getting alone with God, with His Word, and with paper and pen. The following bullet points outline the fundamentals for strengthening our intimacy with our Master:
All of these points are expanded upon in our book, “Developing Your Secret Closet of Prayer,” which is available on Amazon.com.