Has your prayer life ever felt like a wrestling match? Interruptions from kids, drifting off in sleep, distracted with your long list of to-dos’. A thousand invisible enemies seem to fill the air the minute we sit down and pray.
Or perhaps our ordinary lives full of busyness, create us to live a prayer life of ‘quick prayers.’ Maybe we don’t ever sit down to focus on prayer. Instead, we pray while we are in the shower, making our coffee, putting our make-up on, sitting in traffic. Sure, this is praying, and God calls for us to pray at all times. But we also need to have times when we’re still for the sake of focused, powerful prayer.
Here are some reasons why a Christian should consider a prayer closet. It creates:
1. Intentionality: In other areas of our lives, we go to specific places for specific reasons. When we go to our office, we go there to work. When we go the gym, we go to exercise. When we go to the grocery store, we go for food. In the same way, when Christians go to their secret place, their prayer closet, they go to spend alone time with God (and for no other reason). Rather than always praying on the go with ‘quick prayers,’ going to a designated place for a specific purpose cultivates intentionality and God “delights in our prayers” (Proverbs 15:8).
2. Focus: When Christians go to an empty and quiet designated place, it eliminates distractions. Tearing ourselves away from the endless housework, TV, Facebook, e-mail, and errands is the hard part. This is often what keeps us from hearing from God—being distracted. I believe this is the enemy’s biggest ‘win’ in the society we live in today. We live in a world where we are overloaded with information. The phones in our pockets even notify us of all the latest information automatically and immediately. Eliminating distractions enable you to focus on nothing but you and the Lord.
3. Intimacy: The privacy of being alone creates intimacy. There is no intimacy when you simultaneously are doing other things. How are you to be intimate with someone when you are juggling ten other things at the same time? The sharing of a special, desert place is an intimate act in itself. If there is a place where you meet with one person, and with nobody else, that place becomes a hallowed sanctuary for the relationship. A prayer closet is that intimate setting for you and God.
4. Strength: Jesus would temporarily escape the crowds and multitudes of needs and go off into the secret where He renewed His strength. Psalm 91:1 promises us that “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Oh, to rest in the shadow of the almighty! God wants the secret place of prayer in our prayer closets to be the place where we can find comfort, peace, and get recharged with strength for what’s next. The disciples recognized this strength in Jesus when He would return from the secret place. They saw Jesus retreat, then come back strengthened and refreshed in a powerful way. They knew something happened to Him when he stole away in the secret, so they asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11). We too, can be strengthened in the secret place.
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