Beloved, while the rest of the world rejoices in all abomination “coming out of the closet”, we as Orthodox Christians would do well to heed to words in the Gospel and enter the closet. For behold:
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6
Our God is a God of humility, rarely would He work wonders in the midst of large crowds but rather would perform the miracles in the midst of a few. And so it is, when we pray that we should not be like the hypocrites, seeking not the glory of men, but rather we seek the glory of God. We should fast cheerfully and pray with joyful sorrow – heartfelt sobs and tears at the remembrance our sins and praying for our neighbors and those that hate us and do us wrong.
Do we actually enter a closet? We must safeguard ourselves from the distractions around us. What does the Orthodox prayer corner look like?
I very much like this image as it is simple. We are stuck by the order and tidiness with the prayer books in the center. The Cross is placed in the midst as it should be in our lives – as a banner that led armies to battle so is the Cross placed before us to lead us through the spiritual battleground on which we contend each and every day. We also behold a censer so that we offer our prayers as the Psalmist says: “Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice”. On the wall are mounted icons of the Savior and Mother of God, flanked by the Patron Saints for the family. The icons remind us of the company that we should keep. The Saints are ever with us and they remind us that we are members of the same Church – the unity of the Church Triumphant in the heavens; and the Church Militant, here on Earth.
When the rest of world “comes out of the closet” and seeks comfort and shelter in all manner of foolishness and abomination, let us retreat to our prayer corner, entering our closet that we may pray to our Father which is in secret; and our Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.