No Longer My Own but Yours

GodReflection: Talking with God.

This morning I want to explore what Jesus’ called “closet” prayer. For Jesus, closets are more than storage space with closed doors and no windows. Rather, they are secure places within our soul with sufficient room and solitude for us to be alone from distractions to converse with the Holy.

These are the talks we have with God when we attempt genuine honesty. Yet, even as our words flow, we know we lack the ability to honor our intent without Spirit intervention. Such prayers are those we hesitate to voice where others might hear. Closet prayers avoid the temptation of making ourselves out to be better than we are in the eyes of others so they will think more of us than we merit.

Every one of us possesses an abundant share of sin-tainted flaws. Private prayer is a closet activity between each one of us and the Holy.

History records a prayer of John Wesley prayed by countless believers over the past four centuries. Its origin is unclear. I would like to think the old preacher may have first written this down as a heart-to-heart conversation with his Holy God. Surely, its origin must be from the secure “closet” space within his soul where room only exists for private time with the Holy. Can you imagine no other human present and hear its original ring of sincere conversation with Father, Son, and Spirit?

I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will. Place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you. Praised for you or criticized for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer,
you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it also be made in heaven.  Amen.

Isn’t that the sort of prayer we hesitate to voice in the presence of others to avoid the temptation of making ourselves out to be better than we are so others will think more of us than we merit?

I’m drawn to the words of Jesus we referenced in an earlier post in this series.

When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:5-6).

Let’s agree to make Holy use of our closet spaces for frank talks with God to share our lives and our desire with Father, Son, and Spirit, who are on our side, who love us and relentlessly seek us. May we humble ourselves and enter closet spaces to join with the Holy and be rewarded with Holy Presence.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on No Longer My Own but Yours.


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