One of the things that draws me to Celtic Christianity is the practice of prayer as part of everything I do, even secret prayer—sometimes called closet prayer. Celtic Christians weaved prayer throughout their day, and often those prayers were hidden from others.
Unseen and unknown, secret prayer is like trail blazing. It tracks through a person’s life like a great adventure.
This story by Aidan Clark in Celtic Daily Prayer, taken from Clark’s The Secret Jesus, is an encouragement for those who pray in secret.
I read a story about a boy who lost a dog in New York City. As he walked up and down the streets, systematically and slowly, a friend complained that he wasn’t even looking for the dog.
He answered, “I’m not looking for him. I’m letting him find me. Sooner or later he will discover the trail I am putting down and follow it until he comes to me.”
In the same way, Jesus is not looking for converts. He has set down a trail which different people pick up at different points and follow until they find Him. The person who prays is also not looking for converts but setting down a track which others will find and follow to Jesus. Maybe a perfect evangelist is one whose work and love is never recognized, who is never acknowledged or thanked by anyone this side of the grave. May Jesus bless the millions who pray in secret.
If you enter prayer with wanting to “set down a track” for others, your perspective changes. You discover Jesus lingering before you, waiting for you to find his particular trail already laid out for the situation. Then you can pray as he is praying. It’s an adventure that links you with Jesus and those that “pick up the scent” behind you.
In last Thursday’s post, Pray For Your Kids, I shared a quote by Robert Brault that illustrates trail blazing, secret prayer from a mother and child’s perspective:
If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go that a prayer has not already been.
Quick exercise for Celtic Christianity secret prayer:
Spend 10 minutes in secret prayer about something that concerns you. Take the perspective of “setting down a trail” in prayer. Then share with us how you found it helpful.
Praying with you, Susan
“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know . . . all of your friends would be nice.
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This Post Has 4 Comments
Nice post. I enjoyed the story.
Glad you liked it, Heather. 🙂
Love this article. I remember the prayer retreat we had at the San Miguel mission and the feeling of,”wow, so that is what I’ve been doing!”
Oh Francie, that was such a good time, wasn’t it. 🙂
Miss you, my friend.