The Prayer Closet

WHEN Jesus was teaching about prayer, He taught that, when we pray, we should find a quiet, secluded place where we can be alone with God.

God wants us to spend time with Him by ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also pray with other people.

Corporate prayer has a vital role to play in our public expression of faith, but it is not a substitute for private prayer.

When we pray in secret, we’re not tempted to put on a show for people because there’s no one around to see us or hear us, so we can be authentic – we can be ourselves. We can come to God just as we are and have an honest conversation with Him.

The Gospels tell us that Jesus made a habit of withdrawing to secluded places so that He could be alone to pray.

Jesus didn’t use a private room, because most of the time he was travelling on the road rather than living in a static home. He used the wilderness, or a desert, or a mountain. So, it doesn’t matter whether our ‘prayer closet’ is inside or outside, as long as we can be alone with God.

The place of prayer is a place where we can spend quality time with God. Finding that quiet place and spending time there is an intentional and deliberate act. We are choosing to take ourselves away from distractions so that we can give our full attention to God.

We can pour out our hearts to Him, and He can speak deeply into our lives as He prepares us for what lies ahead.

Prayer isn’t about twisting God’s arm; it’s about holding His hand. The life of faith combines miracle with mystery.

Sometimes, God intervenes supernaturally, whilst at other times it seems that God is on mute; but, if we’re holding on to His hand, we know we are in safe keeping and, regardless of the turmoil we might be going through, God will eventually bring us out safe and sound.

If we’re on a train and we want to get off, let’s not get off when it’s going through a tunnel – that’s never a good time to get off. God’s destination for us is always beyond the darkness of the tunnel.

So, let’s make time to be diligent in prayer.

lan Toone, lay member of New Life Church Derby