A few years ago, the movie War Room became wildly popular and the people in my church were abuzz. The movie was primarily about a family who appeared to have it all together but was quickly falling apart behind closed doors. The wife meets a mature Christian who encourages the couple to find happiness through prayer. After watching it, I totally understood what all the fuss was about. The prayer closet! I had never heard of such a thing and I was immediately intrigued.
I considered Matthew 6:6, “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.” In the surrounding verses of Matthew 6, Jesus spoke about the hypocrites who stood on the street corners and prayed aloud to be seen by others and pagans who thought “babbling” would make them be heard. Basically, they were more concerned with people seeing their faith and Jesus was not impressed.
So he took this opportunity to remind us that our faith isn’t a show to be used to influence what others think of us. God sees deep into our heart. He knows our motives, our concerns and our needs. He desires a relationship with us and that can only come through conversation with him in prayer. So then, why a prayer closet?
I made the decision to create a prayer closet years ago because I felt that would keep my time with the Lord intentional and focused. It would give me an uninterrupted, designated space to pursue the Lord. It was designed to be simple, yet comfortable. For me this includes a comfy area rug and a small padded bench to lean forward on for times of kneeling. I have a white board and a journal to jot down things that the Holy Spirit places on my heart. You can customize your prayer closet as you see fit, just be sure to keep the focus primarily on the Lord, as this space is ONLY for you and him anyway. Imagine what time in your prayer closet will look like...
With the Bible open and your cell phone on silent in another room… allow yourself to settle in. It’s always best to ask God to help give your mind peace, so you can spend quality time together and not get distracted with your to-do list for the rest of the day. If you need to, set a timer and place it outside of the door if you have a hectic schedule for your day ahead.
Once you are comfortable, root yourself in faith and expectation and get ready to experience your Father’s love, forgiveness, truth, deliverance, revelation and direction. (1 John 5:14-15, John 15:7, Mark 11:24) Remember, he may not show up the way we expect him to every single time but rest assured that he is ALWAYS working behind the scenes on our behalf! No prayer is wasted or unheard! (John 5:17, Romans 8:28) Be sure to leave plenty of time to be still so you can hear him speak to your heart as well.
Your prayer closet does not have to be an actual closet. I have a friend who does not have a walk-in closet in her home. So, she designated a corner of her bedroom as her “prayer corner.” It’s just as lovely and I am confident that the Lord rejoices at her effort to make a space to honor him in her home.
I would encourage you to take your prayer life to the next level with a prayer closet (whatever that room or space may look like for you.) My prayer for you is that you will have many beautiful conversations with the Lord in the space you create “behind closed doors.” May it be a sacred space that is a blessing to your home, your life and your relationship with the Lord.
Colossians 4:2 - “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”