“And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” Matthew 14:3
In the movie War Room, Miss Clara has a powerful secret—a closet where she enters into spiritual battle through prayer. I love that movie, not only because it encourages us to seek God’s face but also to lift others up to Him in the process, invoking the power of the Holy Spirit.
Miss Clara’s prayer closet (and later on, the closet used by Elizabeth) represents a wonderful privilege, a designated space for going privately before God. Jesus modeled this very concept for us by leaving the crowds and His disciples behind to hike up on the mountain for prayer alone with His Father. I have friends, Jack and Suzy Williams, who have a wonderful “war room” with a kneeling bench, just off their main living space—when building their home, they added this room purposefully as a prayer retreat.
What if you don’t have a special spot, though, to call your own “prayer closet”? I often think of Susanna Wesley, the intrepid mom of early Methodist leaders John and Charles and 17 other children. She was one busy woman. Her option for private prayer? She threw her apron over her head, a signal that she was engaged in serious prayer—you can bet her kids tiptoed around whenever that apron was flipped.
I don’t have a prayer closet. (All of our closets are stuffed full, some practically busting the doors open…can you relate?) And after decades of working in cubicles and then having a basement office at home, I can’t bear the thought of praying in a confined space. I need windows. So, I lean more toward Jesus’ preference for a mountaintop dialogue with God, which I have enjoyed many times, but that’s not a daily possibility.
My secret solution? A prayer drawer. It’s a designated drawer in my kitchen, chock full of everything I need for a rewarding quiet time. To make that happen, I cleared everything out of one drawer and repurposed it with my Bible, prayer journals, devotional books, Bible study books, lists of prayer requests, and so forth. I added my favorite pen and pencil, photos, cards, and other reminders of prayer needs. That drawer is within reach, and it transforms my kitchen table every morning temporarily into a sacred space of prayer.
As an empty nester now, I’m able to carve out a quiet time more easily without disturbance, before the workday begins. It was not an easy habit to maintain when the kids were young, but I find that my need for a quiet time is even more urgent now that they are adults—the greatest privilege a parent can have is access to God’s throne on behalf of children. My prayer life is richer and fuller now for it.
Don’t have a dedicated prayer closet in your residence? Consider creating your own prayer drawer, prayer cabinet, prayer shelf, or even a prayer box that could fit under your bed (Michael’s and Hobby Lobby stores usually have lovely cardboard, wooden, or woven boxes if you want to indulge in something special). Just choose some kind of contained space where you can put your hands on what you need to steal away from the world, away from work or Internet frenzy, into a sanctuary of prayer with God.
Let 2020 be the year your spiritual life is transformed with your own personal “prayer drawer”! Rejoice in this privilege!
Father, thank You for the sweetness of entering Your throne room, being seated in Your presence, and talking with You in prayer. Thank You for giving us not only salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ, but also modeling for us the incredible blessing of private conversation with you. May we seek Your face in secret and throughout the day, for even in the midst of a crowd, You are with us. Hear our prayers, O Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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