Jesus said, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:5–6). We can’t be close to the Lord in prayer when we are so distracted by the stuff of life. We need to take time and pray and get with God in private so we can give all our attention. The word “room” meanings is an inner storage chamber, or secret room. Jesus was communicating that prayer is about God and not the things of this world and all its distractions. Our hearts need to be on Jesus. We need to give God some quality time. Prayer is talking to God personally and not doing it to be seen by others.
Find a quiet, regular place to pray so you can focus on prayer. Many also use this their “prayer closet” for Bible study. God speaks to us through His Word; studying the Bible goes hand-in-hand with praying. Jesus Himself often retreated to quiet places to pray, many times on a hillside. We need quiet time to study, to grow, to learn, and speak to the very presence of God.
Jesus’ instruction is less about where you pray and more about the mistake of drawing attention to yourself when you pray. The concept of a “prayer closet” is simply to remember that prayer is about fellowship with God. A “prayer closet” can be anywhere we are free to experience uninterrupted intimacy with God.