Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 12 : Practice Secret Disciplines | Day 81

Discover Power in "Closet" Prayer!

A couple prayed for five years that God would add another child to their family of three. Nothing happened. No doubt their seven-year-old son began to wonder, "Does God actually hear prayer? Does He really answer prayer?" The problem was not in God's ability to hear and answer prayer, but in their ability to understand and experience the power of "closet" prayer.

Jesus commanded: “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” (Matthew 6:6).

"Closet" prayer is fervent, uninhibited, unconditional, undistracted, intimate, and urgent.

"Closet" prayer is powerful. As James describes, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much [makes much power available]” (James 5:16).

When the wife learned about the power of fervent prayer at an Anger Resolution Seminar,1 she went home and tried it out. In a fervent appeal to God, she cried out for another child, and she even asked for a daughter. A few days later, she conceived. After this, they received a letter from a fertility expert that they had recently visited. He informed them that based on recent tests, there would be no way for them to conceive. Nine months later they had their child—a baby girl!

God responds to the fervent and undistracted appeals that are a part of "closet" prayer. We see this intensity in the powerful prayer of Daniel. “O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God” (Daniel 9:19). In this prayer we see another key to "closet" prayer:

"Closet" prayer is based on protecting God's name and advancing His Kingdom, rather than promoting our own agenda.

When we bring a request to God, is it to enhance our reputation, or the name of Christ? Is it to further our program, or to advance the kingdom of God? Prayer becomes mighty when we can relate our appeals to the goals that God has for our lives and for the world.

How many of our prayers are based on the model "closet" prayer that Jesus gave us? "Hallowed be thy name ... for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory” (Matthew 6:9-13). Try taking the needs that you have been praying about and evaluate them on the basis of how they relate to God's reputation, His power, His kingdom, and His glory. Then, go into a "closet," and make a fervent appeal on this basis. See what God will do!


1. Learn more about the Anger Resolution Seminar.

Give secretly; pray secretly; fast secretly; "... and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:1-18).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard