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Summary: As we spend time in the secret place of prayer – in solitude, silence, and soaking and Scripture meditation – we are transformed into the image of Jesus.

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SPIRITUAL FORMATIONS #2: SECRETS OF THE SECRET PLACE

KEY TEXT: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2).

THE BIG IDEA: As we spend time in the secret place of prayer – in solitude, silence, and soaking and Scripture meditation – we are transformed into the image of Jesus.

REVIEW TEXT: (John 15:4-5).

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

• The first spiritual formation is prayer – abiding in Jesus in the secret place.

1. SOLITUDE: Review this point from last week.

• Solitude is spending time with Jesus alone in the secret place of prayer.

• “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).

2. SILENCE:

• Silence is spending time with Jesus listening in the secret place of prayer.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10, NKJV).

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God.” (Ps. 46:10; Message).

• Too often in prayer we do all the talking and don’t pause to listen.

• God wants to speak to us and give us encouragement, wisdom and direction in our lives:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27).

• We need to take the time to listen to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to our lives.

• Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us and show us areas we need to work on.

QUOTE: The secret place “is the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born… (where) I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend… just me – naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken – nothing.” (Henri Nouwen).

• This is why it’s good to get silent in solitude – so we can hear God speak to our hearts.

EXAMPLE:

“1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts."” (Isaiah 6:1-5).


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