Jesus not only had a favorite time for private prayer (early in the morning), but was always able, even in the midst of His travels, to find “a solitary place” (Mk. 1:35) for prayer. In the busiest seasons of His life, Jesus would rob Himself of sleep and needed rest in order that He might have the quiet and unhurried place for prayer.
In His ministry Jesus mentioned the prayer “closet” (KJV) or “a secret place” (Mt. 6:6). The word rendered “closet” signified originally a storeroom and has the same root word as the word “to cut” or “divide.” It may have referred to a sectioning-off of a corner of the large room in which the family lived. In that private place supplies were kept for the needs of the family. While this word eventually came to be used for any place of privacy, the “supply room” would also speak to the storehouse of God’s resources available to us through personal prayer.
For Jesus the place was not as important as the purpose, namely to get away from the routine and the interruptions and spend time alone with the Father. There are no sacred places, just places that become sacred because of what happens there between a person and God. It will be of great benefit to you if you can designate a location for personal prayer. If you are not able to do this, then, like Jesus, you should seek some temporary, “solitary places.”
Father, You supply all of my needs as I trust in You. Give me a deep desire to meet with You in the solitary places where I won’t be disturbed by the busyness of the life around me. Show me how to allow the ordinary spaces in my life to become holy and set apart because You come to meet me there! May the time I spend with You in the closet allow the Holy Spirit to transform me from the inside out!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 25, Disciplines of Personal Prayer by Dan R. Crawford). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the one from whom all things have come; praise him as the one to whom you are going when you are called home. Thank God that your relationship with him extends beyond this life. Confess the times when your focus has been only on physical needs, not God’s eternal purpose for you (Mt. 6:33). Commit yourself to seeking God’s will for you and to hearing the voice of his Spirit through the preaching of the Word. Ask God to reveal himself to you in his splendor and glory.
Pray for those preachers in other countries who must serve eight or ten churches at a time. Ask God to give them strength and to provide lay leaders who can minister in their absence.