The Prayer Closet
In May 2015, I attended a pre-release screening of the movie, “War Room”. As a spiritual mentor and praying mama, I loved relating to the elder character’s passion for praying and speaking spiritual wisdom into the life of another. I cheered on Pricilla Shirer’s character as she was inspired by this woman of godly wisdom and pressed in with God and created her own prayer “War Room”.
When seeking a quiet place to be alone with God, I too have spent many hours getting serious with Him in many closets over the years. For all my camping out in the closet, why didn’t I make space to leave some of my prayer work tools? My prayer closet held clothes and shoes, so whatever I came in with to pray with, such as my prayer bench, Bible, and journal, it would go back to my other dedicated “War Rooms” such as my prayer chair/study space or dwelling spaces. While our prayer life is multidimensional going from quiet breath prayers to the dynamic stomping of feet, these other spaces were often open to distraction from others or the open outdoors.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matt. 6:6
While exhibiting at the Shift Conference in July, I met one of the conference speakers, Christopher Yuan. What a testimony he has to share! Even more so was the inspiration of his mother’s conversion story and the photo of her prayer closet, a converted shower! Her dedication to praying for her prodigal son was won in that sacred space – which truly was a seemingly impossible battle against the forces of evil that had a hold on her son. Again, God was opening my eyes to these intimate prayer closets. He was also persistently pressing me each time I was in my closet, having me look over at the spot I could dedicate for this purpose. So I made it happen… What a relief (from God’s pressing me!) and a joy to now have this sacred space!
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt.6:33
We have such a privilege to be intimate with God in prayerful conversation and enter into the throne room of Grace (Heb. 4:16). We often look at prayer like it’s an option or too hard or unnecessary – but God has required our part in participation to “Ask, seek, knock”. Matt. 7:7-8 While prayer takes place in a variety of settings in the Bible, in the temple (Acts 3:1); in private rooms (Acts 1:13, 14); at house meetings (Acts 2:42); in prison (Acts 16:25); at the riverbank (Acts 16:13); on the waterfront (Acts 20:36), having a place for private prayer is helpful. Not only for being intentional, like the prayer bench, but I’m more able to center my mind from distracting thoughts.
It’s an amazing thing to realize a simple closet or corner of your room can transform into a sacred space dedicated to a Holy God. We become like the priests who burned incense at the golden altar before the veil that separated them from the Holy of Holies. My prayers are a picture of that burning incense being offered up to the Lord (Ps. 141:1–3; Luke 1:5–17). While the fragrance of the incense stuck to the priests, people would know that he had been at the golden altar. Martin Luther said, “We are all priests, and our praying is the burning of incense.” In Acts 4:13, the Sanhedrin noticed that because of Peter and John’s boldness of speech they had been with Jesus. I want that spiritual fragrance to come off of me like when I leave Starbucks, having that coffee smell on me, or seeing it my face, my “unveiled face”, 2Cor. 3:18, reflecting the glory of the Lord. That actually did happen once at Trader Joe’s. After leaving a local adoration chapel, I stopped to pick up a few things and the checker said, “You look so familiar! Where do I know you from?” and ran through a list of possible places, he was so sure, “I know you!”. I said, “Maybe it’s Jesus!”
Creating sacred space like a prayer closet, prayer room, spiritual war room can be freeing and bring your relationship with God to a new level. Another thing I found when going into a closet was that the clothes muffled the space into a deeper silence and stillness – just what I’d need when life seemed to be swirling and I needed to be centering on God. If you haven’t tried it, do it next time life is on the spin cycle!
What’s been your prayer closet experience? Please feel free to share or post a photo of yours on our Facebook page! Don’t have a prayer closet or dedicated sacred space where you do your quiet time with God? Ask God to show you where it could be! Maybe bring some of your sacred things there, photos of family members to pray for, note paper and see what happens – God will bless your one-on-one time with Him.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4