“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” -Matthew 6:5
I love the secret place! There is just something so special about getting to spend time with God in a way that no one else gets to experience. The secret place can be anything you want it to be… it can be a physical location you go to spend time with God that no one knows about, or it can be a special place you imagine yourself in with you and God. Every secret place is unique, just as you are uniquely created by the Father - so don’t be afraid to get creative with the places you and God go. These are the moments that you get to treasure and that no one can ever take away from you.
This year my favorite song of all time is actually called “The Secret Place” by Phil Wickham. There were mornings I would listen to it on repeat and I couldn’t understand why I was doing that… Then I had a meeting where a few of us were praying and I realized why; turns out, I am in a season where the secret place is the only place where God is handing me each key to unlock every door in front of me that I have been blankly staring at for so long. I could spend hours unpacking this for you, but instead I just want to go through this song stanza by stanza so that hopefully one day you can unlock your own mysteries in the secret place and enter your season of breakthrough.
“Where will you run my soul
Where will you go when wells run dry
When the wind starts to blow
How are you gonna keep this flame alive”
“You are my only hope
You are the rock on which I stand
And You will not let me go
I know that I'm safe inside Your hands”
Verse 1 and 2: God is your ultimate source. Every single time you feel like you are about to die of thirst in a desert season, or you are in the midst of a hurricane tearing through your life, the best possible way to keep yourself going is to turn to God. We often use imagery of a flame of fire to depict the Holy Spirit, and passion, and revival, and hunger, and whatever else you want to use to explain something that is so great and vast. In this first verse, Wickham poses the question, “when you are going through hard times how do you keep this hunger, this passion, this feeling of warmth from the closeness of Holy Spirit going strong?” You could go out and focus on the problem, you could talk about how bad it is for days… trust me, I know… I’ve been there too many times to count, because that’s the easy thing to do. Or, you could go up to the altar and receive prayer and then not think about it anymore. Because you are thinking that you did what you had to do and everyone saw how much courage it took you to get up there, so of course you don’t have to do it again or dive in on your own time, right? When you do this you will be like the hypocrites, you may receive satisfaction in the moment and that’s great, but what happens when you go home at night and nothing has changed, your circumstances are still the same and now you feel misunderstood and forgotten (please don’t take this as me saying getting prayer from the altar is bad, because it is SO GOOD! I literally go any chance I can)! Where you will run into problems with this is if it’s your only source. Relying 100% on others to do the work is not beneficial to your soul or spirit. You should still work through things with others, but you have to pair it with constant prayer and communication between you and God, and that often comes from time in the secret place. As you turn to God, you get to experience hope in Him and not hope in healing or hope in other tangible things. Hope in Him is SO much sweeter, and as you learn to do this you will begin to feel safer and safer in the midst of His presence alone.
“In the fading light when night is breaking
I know You will always be waiting
You'll always be there
I'm running to the secret place
Where You are, where You are
I'll sing to You of all the ways
You stole my heart, stole my heart
Better is a moment that I spend with You
Than a million other days away
I'm running, I'm running, I'm running to the secret place”
“Hands are lifted high, hearts awake to life
We are satisfied here with You, here with You
Chains will hit the floor, broken lives restored
We couldn't ask for more here with You, here with You”
Chorus and bridge: The sweetest part of the secret place is that God is always waiting with His arms open ready to catch us as we come in. “Better is a moment that I spend with You than a million other days away.” This line is powerful y’all. One moment in the secret place has the potential to sustain you more than a million other earthly experiences. Knowing this, we get to run without hesitation toward Him and sing out from the depths of our heart because we know He is near and listening. As we enter this place with Him, we can do whatever we need; whether that looks like sitting completely still and not saying a word, or going on a drive and screaming at the top of your lungs the cries of your heart, or just dancing all around an empty room with just you and God. It's in these moments that our hearts get to come alive. It’s in these moments that we feel the most intimate with our loving Father. These moments that all our brokenness can be shed and we are no longer bound by circumstances. These moments we get to step into complete freedom and reap the eternal rewards of joy, peace, hope, etc. And these are the rewards that sustain you.
So this week, I challenge you to talk with God and figure out what your secret place looks like. Just you and Him, no one else. Then go there, consistently. I promise you that as you keep sowing into this that you will look back and see the ways that God is transforming you from the inside out, at every level, spirit, soul, and body. Keep getting prayer from others, and keep discussing things with your small group leaders and/or disciplers - community is an essential piece. But don’t fall into the trap of making that your only source, let your foundation be your secret, you and God. Let no one change it or try to take it away from you. You are doing amazing, God sees you in the dark, and He is so much closer than you think - just ask Him to show you.
Author | Tori Kramer