“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.”
Jesus tells us here in this scripture to go to a secret place with Him to pray rather than the pray-er praying aloud and in public as this will only receive attention by man. A quiet pray-er will go directly to God in private and reap blessings from God.
The Greek word used here for “room” is "tameion", which means "an inner storage chamber or a secret room”.
Now some people have taken this scripture literally and set aside/created a room or corner specifically for prayer time, furnishing it with a comfortable chair, desk, bible and maybe a note book. While that is good, that is not exactly what these verses are actually saying.
A “prayer closet” is a place where you are by yourself, spending time with God. Somewhere where you are not distracted or interrupted by anyone or anything. It is a place where your focus is completely on God.
Jesus set an example of what praying in your prayer closet looks like in Matthew 26 when He went away from His followers to pray alone.
Although there are good reasons to have a place dedicated specifically for regular prayer, the passage in Matthew 6 talks about performing religious acts for the purpose of allowing others to see.
Any action, like praying, serving or giving, should not be done for the purpose of gaining approval from others. Praying, serving and giving should be responses to our relationship with God and the mercies He has given us.
If a specific, dedicated location encourages prayer then it should definitely be used. If that place is a quiet walk along the beach that helps you to pray and focus on God, that is also perfectly acceptable.
Reader, I encourage you today to set a goal for each day to take time away from all the distractions in your life and to go and spend prayerful time with God in a quiet place.