Do You Need A Prayer Closet?
Since the critically acclaimed and soul-stirring premiere of the movie, ”War Room,” Christians across the nation have been rushing to create their own prayer closet.
Most of us are not this lucky. I don’t know about you, but I need every square inch of my limited closet space for storage. Also, I am more than a little claustrophobic, and I think this would seriously distract me from my conversation with God.
We do not need a special prayer closet to talk to God.
Matthew 6:6 is often quoted as a command to “go into our prayer closet” when we pray. As is often the case, the verse is taken out of the context of the chapter. Matthew 6:6 begins with the conjunction “but.”
Whenever a verse begins with however, and, or but, it is important to consider the verse before it. In this case, I think it is important to read from verse 1 of chapter 6.
It is clear that one of the main messages in this passage is that prayer should be a private thing before you and God. This does not mean we cannot pray in a group. Indeed, we are encouraged to do so.
Matthew 6 deals with “how’ we should pray. In particular, we are not to pray “as the hypocrites.” This is in reference to the Pharisees, who were pompous and full of pride. Their prayers were more to exalt themselves than God.
Have you ever seen images of the Western Wall in Jerusalem? Prayers are written on slips of paper and slipped into the cracks of the wall. As Jewish men pray before it, you will often see that they have their prayer shawl, or tallit (tall-EET,) pulled over their head. As children, they are taught that the prayer shawl covering them should make them feel as though the presence of the divine were upon them. You might be surprised to note that the tallit is their “prayer closet.”
It is not where you pray, but how you pray.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 6:9-15 (KJV)
I have also created a free prayer journal that you can download.
Download a Free Prayer Journal here
Kim Marie Johnson
Marie is an ordained minister. She is an author, artist, and designer. Marie enjoys teaching and speaking. Most important to her are her relationship with God, her three children and five grandchildren who inspire her every second of every day.