Have you ever heard of a prayer closet? The first time I heard about this was maybe 3 or 4 years ago and I didn’t really know what it was all about. See I’ve only been saved for 5 years, so there are many aspects of Christianity that are new to me.
I grew up catholic and catholics don’t have prayer closets! Ha!
The movie War Room came out not that long ago. While I haven’t seen it yet, our local movie theatre didn’t show it (waiting for the DVD release), I’ve heard lots about it. Prayer closets are discussed greatly in this movie. People who use them are sometimes referred to as prayer warriors. Hence the title “War Room”! You close yourself up in this room with your Bible, you tune out all distractions and you pray. You fight with all your might with the best weapon available to us: prayer. This prayer closet transforms itself into a war room. A place where you can fight all the evils in your life. The disappointments, the hurts, the sadness, the anxieties, the fears, the shame, the addictions, the loss, the grief. You arm yourself with God’s armour and you fight your battles.
The Armour of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God,so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
Like the final verse says: pray in all occasions. Do not restrict yourself to only praying in your prayer closet. I pray (or talk) to God all day long. Like a very long conversation with my dad. But there’s something about a prayer closet that makes my prayers more intimate. I don’t have to be shy or embarrassed about getting on my knees. I can lay my heart out to Him. Raw. Completely exposed. And I truly believe that that’s the part of us God wants to see. He wants us to share with Him our most vulnerable moments.
Over the past couple months, I felt this longing to have a place like this of my own. I couldn’t find one closet I could empty and make my own. Not even one where I could take over half of it! No space to create one either. But I did find a corner in my bedroom I could turn into a prayer corner. I just have to close my bedroom door and it blocks the sound of my kids screaming downstairs (well almost!). As you can see in the picture, I still have some cleaning to do to make this corner distraction-free. Notice my dirty laundry pile and some knick-knacks on the sofa? God did not bless me with the skills of organization and tidiness. That’s a skill I’ll have to learn on my own!
If you’re interested in creating a prayer space of your own, I do recommend you choose a space that is distraction free (audible distractions as well as visual). So a quiet and clean space is ideal.
I added a board where I can post my prayers, memory verses and pictures of loved ones I’m praying for. This way, I don’t have to remember, on the spot, what it was I wanted to pray for. A chalkboard or sticky notes would work well too.
Use your time wisely by being organized in your prayers and prayer requests. Because when you get in there to pray, remember that you’re in a war zone. You must be prepared.
I keep my Bible near the board so I can read and refer to it when needed. Yes, my Bible is humongous. Ha ha. It’s an archaeological Bible. I love reading the backstories and about the culture from back then. Yup, I’m a bit of a nerd!
I usually keep my prayer journal nearby as well. That’s another efficient way to keep my prayers in order. If someone has a prayer request for me, I write it in there to make sure I don’t forget.
Other things to keep handy are pens, pencils, highlighters, thumb tacks or extra sticky notes, a notepad, a pillow and/or blanket to get comfy on the floor.
Of course, when you enter your war zone, don’t forget to take the time to praise God. This is also a place to thank him for his grace and mercy. Maybe take a minute to write down a few things you’re grateful for to get you started. Aim for a minimum of 5 things every day. The beautiful sunshine, the stranger who smiled at you, the fact that you have a job, the beautiful flowers in your neighbour’s yard. Just make sure you don’t always write the same five every day!
So begin by being grateful and thankful for all of his glories. Then open up your heart to him and ask for forgiveness for all of your sins.
Be honest. Sincere. It’s not like you can lie to him anyhow, right? Lay it all out there.
Then, that’s when you should make your prayer requests. Pray your heart out and ask for all the crazy things that are on your heart.
Fix my broken marriage. Heal my injured foot. Help me find my runaway daughter. Fix my relationship with my mother. Help me turn away from drugs and alcohol once and for all.
Your requests may be big one day and small the next. That’s ok. Sometimes you won’t be able to find the words to pray what’s in your heart. That’s ok. God knows what’s in your heart. You just need to allow him to enter.
Then you must absolutely take some time to be still. Be quiet and listen. Give him a chance to speak to you. To guide you. To comfort you. To simply bask in the glory of his presence. Take the time to enjoy being in the presence of the Almighty God. The creator of the Universe. The one who created YOU. Isn’t it amazing that the King of all kings would take the time to meet with you in your time of prayer? That he would hold your hand in your time of need? We often miss those moments when we don’t take the time to slow down.
If you don’t already have a prayer closet or a prayer corner, I encourage you to make one. Whatever works for you. As long as you use it!
I would love to hear about your special prayer spaces. Do you have a closet? Or a corner? How do you use it?