"When thou hast shut thy door"

THE disciples must soon have realized that Christ Jesus' understanding of prayer was something quite different from the formal, ritualistic petitions they were accustomed to offer to the Almighty. As they grasped something of the meaning of spiritual communion with the Father, it was natural that they should seek of the Master more definite teaching as to how they themselves should pray. The prayer he gave to them has been known throughout Christendom as the Lord's Prayer. Short, comprehensive, complete, covering all human needs, it has been a beacon light to Christians in every age. But the deeper significance of each separate phrase has been so illumined in the inspired interpretation given to us by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," that we have come to regard this beautiful prayer as a keynote of true intercession.

The great Teacher, however, was not satisfied with simply giving these wonderful words to his followers. He told them also the manner in which the prayer must be uttered, if they would gain the response they sought from the heavenly Father: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Commenting on this verse in her beautiful chapter on Prayer in Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy writes (p. 15), "The closet typifies the sanctuary of Spirit the door of which shuts out sinful sense but lets in Truth, Life, and Love;" and she continues, "To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed." What this means, and how great the demand, Christian Scientists are gradually learning to know.

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August 30, 1930
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