When we come to the where questions of prayer… there are not that many. I’m sure you guessed the first one…
WHERE should I pray?
Now… let me agree with what you are already thinking… YOU CAN PRAY ANY PLACE and we should pray in lots of places
Though you CAN pray anywhere… there is one place EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD pray
We read about it in Matthew 6:6… "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray"
Some may be thinking… I can’t pray in my closet… there is not enough room, and no light. If I close the door I will be in the dark.
This sermon is really about something I feel very strongly about… a prayer closet.
You may have heard different preachers and teachers who taught differing views on the prayer closet.
Some take the words very literally and they believe we should have a literal closet/room where we go in and close the door.
Others teach that a prayer closet is any place where a Christian gets alone with God, closes out the world (literally or figuratively) and talks to God.
“The Secret Closet Is Any Place Where a Child of God Shuts Out theWorld - and Shuts Himself in Alone With God, to Seek Him and Pray!”
For the latter… the prayer closet may be a car where they make a daily commute and are alone… and there they have their prayer time.
For others it is a mixture or any place in between.
I am not smarter than them. Nor am I more spiritual, necessarily. But I do have a very strong opinion on this matter which comes from scripture, not from practicality or reason.
I take the words of Jesus literally… we are to go into our prayer closet and shut the door.
I believe every Christian needs a place, a room, where they can get alone, un-distracted, for a set time to commune with the Lord in prayer.
Let me say… if you do not have one… this church has a great one and it is hardly ever used. You will have no problem getting to use it.
As for praying anywhere??? I agree… we can and should. However, that does not change what I said about the prayer closet.
Pray as you drive… in addition to the closet
Pray at the lake… in addition
Pray wherever… in addition
I believe if Jesus had just meant that we were to just get off by ourselves, undistracted and focus on God… that is what he would have said.
Something like--- And when you pray, go off by yourself on a mountain top… or under a tree… or in a quiet place.
He used language that was very specific… closet… door. Closed.
Jesus was a very plain-spoken person who said exactly what he meant. I believe he meant we were to have a special place that we can go into and close the door.
Now… some have argued… well, Jesus did not have a prayer closet.
Yeah… well Jesus did not even have a house. He did not live in a house and probably spent many nights outside… camping. Jesus was a poor… itinerant (homeless, vagabond) street preacher.
And if you are homeless and living on the street… I think God will cut you some slack on the prayer closet.
But if you have a house, where you can have a prayer closet… I think He expects you to have one.
You can’t use Jesus as an example in this respect.
Jesus did, however, have a regular prayer time where he would go away from his disciples and the crowds, where He could be undistracted and focus on God.
Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
Mark 1:35 “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray”
Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
Luke 22:41-44 He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
But that is not what He told us to do. He told us to go into our closet and shut the door.
That is enough about that. You do what you want about the prayer closet.
I want to tell you how to furnish your closet.
The prayer closet is all about FOCUS… focusing on God and having a FOCUSED prayer time.
So… wherever your prayer closet is… there are some things that will help you in your prayer time.
((show and explain each one))
Room with a door : 4 x 6 or larger long enough to lay prostrate
Carpet or rug for laying prostrate not sleep
Chair comfortable for reading… not too comfortable
Small table or desk to hold the other stuff you need
Good light for reading
Portable CD player- to drown out you
Bible and Commentary
Notebook and Pen or Pencil
Prayer Guide church, personal, work
• Pray for our Leaders
• for Physical Healing
• For your School
• For Spiritual Awakening
• For Your Marriage
• For the Addicted
• For the Lost
• For Missionaries
• Through Scriptures
• For Your Pastor
Friends and family photos for whom you pray
Missionary prayer cards
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before Him? Day and night I have only tears for food, while my enemies continually taunt me, saying, “Where is this God of yours?”
My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration!
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember You…
I hear the tumult of the raging seas as Your waves and surging tides sweep over me. But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Psalm 42:1-8 NLT)