Christians should always strive to keep their prayer life healthy and growing so here are the things you need to know about a prayer closet.
As Christians, our prayer life is like a plant. Our prayer life provides us with fresh air and sustenance and the world desperately needs more of it. Like plants, it requires time, effort, and care to live. A prayer closet can help us significantly keep our prayer lives healthy and thriving.
What is a Prayer Closet?
Although it is called the prayer closet, it does not strictly have to be a closet. This pertains to a private place you can come specifically to meditate on the Word of God and pray. This concept was popularized by the movie War Room, released in 2015.
More importantly, Jesus taught us about praying in secret. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6
Some people have decided to practice this literally in their lives, and we should cultivate our prayer life in any way that will speak to us. Sometimes we just find it hard to focus on prayer and meditation. Starting your prayer closet can give a lot of benefits.
What are the Benefits of Having a Prayer Closet?
Intimacy with God
When Jesus died on the cross, He restored our relationship with God, and because of this, we can come directly to God to pray for forgiveness, provision, or anything we want to talk about to Him. We should always grab the opportunity to connect with God at every chance.
Sometimes, the way to build intimacy with those we love is to communicate with them in a private place we both feel safe. A prayer closet can help a lot with this goal. We can focus on getting closer to God without worrying about anything.
Anna once prayed to God for a son in the temple. Her prayer was so intense that Eli thought she was drunk. We sometimes want to be open and free with God, but we might feel self-conscious. Not everyone can be like Anna. Not everyone can be so carefree about their prayers.
Also, unfortunately, there are still Christians in the world that have to hide their faith. This might be due to a national issue, or it might be within the family. To avoid conflict and harm, a prayer closet where we can safely commune with God is one of the best ways to strengthen our faith in these trying times.
Devoting to prayer
I once read an article giving tips to people with difficulty sleeping. The article stated that people should train their minds by using the bed for sleeping and nothing else. They should not bring work, snacks, or entertainment to their beds. This way, their minds would associate the bed with sleeping and therefore help them focus on sleeping.
We can apply the same thing to a prayer closet. It is not always easy to keep our minds from wandering while praying or meditating. It can result in frustration or even guilt. If we train our minds to see the prayer closet as a place solely for prayer and meditation, we can overcome distractions and focus on our prayer life.
These days, the world has turned into a busy, bustling, and noisy world. People are always rushing to places, advertisements constantly bombard us, and the hum of life is everpresent. It is a rare treasure to find a quiet place. A quiet prayer closet can come a long way if we want to connect with God.
Obedience to God
The Bible says a lot about prayer, one of which is that God commanded it. Jesus gave parables about prayer and even taught His disciples how to pray. Having a prayer closet does not just help us with strengthening our prayer life but also with obeying God.
How to Set Up a Prayer Closet
Choose the perfect location for your prayer closet
We call it a prayer closet, but it does not have to be an actual closet. It can be a corner in your house, a private place in your backyard, or even a chair you can dedicate for prayer time.
Susanna Wesley, the mother of John Wesley, had ten children, so maintaining a healthy prayer life should have been challenging.
One thing she did was to sit with her children while they were reading, then cover her face with her apron and pray. The place does not matter as long as we dedicate it to prayer alone. Do not stress over it. You do not need major renovations.
Decorate your prayer closet
One way of owning a place is by decorating it. Make your prayer room as personal as you can. Make it reflect you as a person, Christian, or anything you want. You should be as comfortable and cozy as possible in your prayer closet.
Keep a journal
People keep a journal for different reasons. Making a journal is preserving memories. You can preserve your thoughts, reflections, and testimonies. You can even track your prayers request, which ones have been answered, which ones need constant prayers, and which ones blew your mind.
Keeping a journal can document your growth as a person and as a Christian. It can be an inspiration for you to grow in faith even more, and it can also inspire others. There is so much you can do with a journal.
Additional Prayer Closet Ideas
Keep photos of people you pray for
We keep family photos in our homes. We keep pictures of important moments and people to remember them by. One thing you can do to your prayer closet is to keep photos of the people you are praying for. An alternative is keeping their names if you do not have access to their pictures.
You can post them on your walls if you have the space. If your prayer closet is small or is not a room, you can keep the pictures in your journal or even in a photo album. There are no rules here because your creativity is the limit.
Sometimes we do not know what to pray for or how to say our prayers; this prayer format can help us with this. This is how it goes.
A – Adoration
“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.”
Adoration is the part where we praise God and declare who He is, His love, and His might. It does not have to be extravagant, and you do not have to use many words. One pastor has told me that calling to Him with “Heavenly Father” or “Almighty God” is enough.
It is a simple way, but it declares who God is. Remember that your prayer closet is for personal and intimate communication with God. Jesus tells us not to be like the Pharisees who use extravagant words in their prayers but whose hearts do not cry out to God. When it comes to worship, the heart is more important than words.
C – Confession
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
We must keep our hearts clean of sin, but we cannot avoid sinning, so we should confess our sins to God in prayer and ask for His forgiveness. He promised that He would forgive us of our sins if we confessed.
Another thing that Jesus taught us is that we should also forgive others to be forgiven (Mark 11:25). This way, we can come to God without any grudges in our hearts, and we can focus on our communication with Him. If you find it hard to forgive at that moment, ask God for help and guidance because He cares.
T – Thanksgiving
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)
Thanksgiving should always be a part of our prayers because it has a lot of benefits. By giving thanks to God, we express our gratitude to Him. It also helps us acknowledge that these things came with the help of His grace and love. It also helps us keep track of the blessings that God pushes our way. Thanksgiving helps us be even more grateful, and it also helps us realize how blessed we are.
S – Supplication
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
God is our Lord, but He is also our parent. We can go to Him with our requests, needs, and wants. We can ask for His help in making our dreams come true. He loves us and wants what is best for us, so do not be afraid or shy to ask God for anything. He will give it to us if it is according to His will.
Some people want to kneel when they pray, but they feel conscious to do it in a place where others can see them. Some people think of kneeling as essential to prayer. We may have differing opinions, but I believe we can agree that we should nurture a relationship with God to the best of our abilities.
One way we can do this is by trying new things, and if you have never tried kneeling in prayer before, you can freely do this in the security and privacy of your prayer closet. Some Christians say that when they start praying, they have no intention of kneeling there are times when the intensity of the prayer can bring you to your knees.
Decorate your walls with scriptures
We call it a prayer closet, but it does not mean it is exclusively for prayer alone. We can use this safe space to meditate in God’s presence and word. This practice can help us grow in our faith and help us know God better.
By doing this, we will encounter verses that speak to us as if God is speaking to us right then. One way of reminding us of this experience is by taking these verses, printing them or writing them down, and hanging or keeping them somewhere we can always see them.
Like all relationships, keeping a relationship with God will take work and effort. We must be willing to try to know Him and communicate with Him. There are various ways we can do this, and one is by making a prayer closet.
When God chose David to be the next king of Israel, He told Samuel that He does not look at the outward appearance of a person but the heart. The same goes for us and our prayer closet. Our prayer closet does not have to look grand because, like people, the thing that matters the most about it is the heart, the relationship we build with God when we go there.
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