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A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

For today’s devotional, I would like to share with you about the secret of prayer.  In Matthew 6:1-6, Jesus talks about the importance of praying in secret.  Dr. Leonard Ravenhill once said, “The secret of praying is praying in secret.”  What was Jesus referring to?  He was referring to the issue of sincerity.  God wants you to come to Him with a sincere heart.  In the Bronx, we would say, “You have to come real.”  Come real before God.

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So I want to encourage you today to come with a pure heart.  James 4:8 says, “Draw close to me and I am going to draw close to you.”  Then later on in the verse it says, “Purify your heart.”  What is Jesus looking for?  He is looking for a pure heart.  The heart that Jesus wants to reward is the heart that will go to Him with “no holds barred”: nothing hidden, no masquerades, no masks.  Jesus wants us to come to Him and to say to Him, “Jesus, this is what it is.  This is how I’m feeling.  This is what I’m going through.  This is the struggle that I am facing in my life right now.”

And here’s the promise that Jesus gives us back in Matthew 6:6, that if we pray in secret He will reward us openly.  Now, Jesus is not referring to a place and location where no one hears you. Instead, Jesus is referring to having a pure heart.  The last thing that He mentions there is to go to the Inner Room.

The secret of prayer is to come before Him and to do so with a pure heart – a heart that says, “Lord, I’m going to come to with the intention of advancing your Kingdom, with the intention of drawing closer to You, with the intention of having intimacy with You.”  And this is what will happen:  If you move with a pure heart, God will move, because the God that we serve is a motion-sensitive God.  He’s a God who detects, sees, and welcomes those who come to Him with a pure heart.  If we seek intimacy with God, God promises He will be intimate with us.

What’s the prerequisite?  Transparency.  Let’s be real with God today.  As you go into your time of prayer just reveal your heart, your feelings, your thoughts, and your heart.  It is a beautiful thing to see that intimate place and to experience that intimate place with God.  God is ready to reward you!  So today, if you’re real with God, God’s going to be real with you.

God bless you!
 
Fernando Cabrera
Pastor and New York City Councilman
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