They call them “cubicles” – those little workspaces divided by partitioned walls. Apparently someone’s ingenious design to create personal space within the scope of a larger impersonal environment.
How do they do it – with walls of course. They carpet them, hang bookcases and shelves on them and call it “home”. Everyone with their own little compartment. The only thing creeping over to someone else’s space might be a well maintained inch plant.
Peter warns us that there may be a danger of having our prayers partitioned – having them walled in. However, the problem here is not that they do not make it over the “wall”, it is that they do not make it to the ears of God.
He mentions three specific circumstances when our prayers may be partitioned or hindered from echoing in the halls of the hallowed.
- When husbands are not being appropriately attentive to the needs and desires of their wife (3:7)
- When our behavior is “evil” and unacceptable in God’s eyes (3:10-12)
- When we act and think foolishly or without self-discipline (4:7)
Only number one is gender specific. The other two apply to all.
There are times when I think my prayers are simply a matter of – come, confess, and cajole God into hearing my wish list. When in reality, there are so many partitions in my life that my words simply bounce around like pinballs. Perhaps, I should do an “environmental” check before I get on my knees. Examine and see which partitions need to come down before my words start flowing up.
Thank you Father for teaching me something more of what it means to come before You in prayer. Help me to ensure that what I do for prayer is not so automatic that it is no longer adoring of You.