The Work Behind the Scenes
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." -Matthew 6:5&6
J. John, a gifted and creative Christian speaker told a story once about preparing the way for a sermon he was going to preach. He felt the Lord impress upon him to pray fervently the night before the meeting. In the morning, as he began to think about what he would share, the Lord told him, "The work is already done."
"How could the work already have been done?" he asked God. But as he got up to speak, he only needed to speak several words that the Holy Spirit had impressed upon his heart, and the entire place was completely overtaken by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because he had been obedient in prayer in the secret place, God moved mightily in the meeting, with many coming to repentance that day.
Banning Liebscher, a youth preacher for Bethel Church and Jesus Culture music, describes the importance of meeting with God in the "secret place":
"The first call on our life is to be with Jesus. The foundation of a leader is intimacy. It is the 'secret place' lifestyle. You're called to give yourself to a life of prayer; to a secret place lifestyle that no one else knows about... What you put in at the beginning greatly impacts what comes out at the end."
Sharon Gerlach, intercessor for Divine Exchanges prayer ministries describes this phenomena as being like an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is the ministry we see. But the other 80-90% of the iceberg, the part beneath the surface, is the spiritual work in prayer that makes a big difference.
Are you engaging in your worship, prayer, reading God's word, and building your relationship with Him behind the scenes? This is the first call on our lives. The quality of everything else in our lives rests on this. We need to be sure we are building our relationship with Him in the secret place, so that we might have maximum impact in the world.
Related resource: Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You by Banning Liebscher