Shut the door and pray

Last week my husband and I returned from an anniversary dinner to discover the top rack of clothes on his side of the closet collapsed. Almost everything had slid off and landed in a heap on the floor. Turns out, the racks had been adhered to the wall by screws into the dry wall, not the studs! If you look closely at the support on the right, it punched right through the wall.

We were lucky it held up four years.

Thankfully, we found a handyman who came to the rescue! When he offered to strengthen the fallen rack and the rest of them too, we could not empty the closet fast enough. All plastic brackets were replaced with metal ones and all supports were re-positioned and re-adhered into studs.

I watched him hang on the racks with his full body weight to prove his job was well done.

After the handyman left, my husband mentioned it would be a good time to paint. So, I did! I covered up the spackled repair spots and scuffed up, off-white, original paint with Sherwin Williams Snowbound.

Then I promptly covered up all my hard work.

The clothes went back on the racks and all of my labor became hidden. That’s the thing about closets. They hide things well because they are often crowded, and they are kept dark most of the time with a closed door. Everyone knows not to go snooping in Mom’s closet near birthdays and Christmas!

There is one thing that cannot hide in a closet, however.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

There have been seasons where I have slipped into only praying in “public.” I pray in church circles, at the dinner table, and during family devotions, but neglect the prayer closet. This neglect has severe consequences because a private, intimate, consistent prayer life with the Lord is the means by which God’s power is unleashed. Such times are often more specific, honest, fervent and thorough in what we share with God.

Prayer invites God’s power into everything we do.

Another prayer habit to consider is what we pray about in the closet. Is God only hearing about our personal lives and problems? Or do we pray about broader issues?

I recently ran across this verse: And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare (Jeremiah 29:7). I paused and thought, “When is the last time I named my city before God?” It’s been a while. Why? That makes no sense! As Scripture declares, its welfare will determine your welfare.

Scripture also says: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4). When is the last time God heard the names of our president, vice president and government officials come from our mouths, asking that they be saved?

The prayer closet is for more than just us.

I have been so sad this week. I suspect you have been too. I find myself down in the mouth, slouchy and quiet. There is room for being sad, but we don’t want to mope around depressed, angry, stressed or anxious without ever handing it all to the Lord in our prayer closets.

So let’s pray today.

Let’s go into a closet (or inner room) and pray for our city! Name it. And let’s also pray for terrified people in Afghanistan and Haiti. As for my dear friends Amber, Margee, Ethel, LeAnn, Jen, Lisa and a long list of friends I carry in my heart as circumstances weigh heavily on them, God is hearing your names from my lips.

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

Picture Explanation: The closet. The globe. Make sure we pray for the entire world while in the closet, not just about us.

© 2021 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

10 Responses

  1. Hi, Friend. Thank you for your prayers for me! You are on my heart today, too! Thanks for the reminder to see beyond our immediate concerns and problems to the needs of the wider world. God is big; in light of Him, our problems are small! Lord, please right now reach down in love and compassion on those who are suffering in Afghanistan and Haiti and around the world. Thank you, Lord, that you are always good!

  2. Thank you Laurie for Post and Prayers. I have found a prayer closet of sorts is flat on your back bedridden. It turns a very boring and painful time into a Blessing. Our Shepherd is always near and truly cares when we are suffering. When He stops us in our tracks it can be a blessing disguised. Loved the Post Laurie and Love you.

    1. Yes, a prayer closet can take many forms. The key is, no one is watching except God. My car is a frequent prayer closet. God hears your name from my mouth, and His requests that He be near in your suffering. Do you know how precious your faith is to Him when you trust Him while flat on your back? More precious than gold. Thanks for hanging on to the truth that this is one gritty blink.

  3. Thank you my friend for reminding me of the “closet”, and for reminding me to pray outside the circle. I took can no longer watch the news for all I feel is sadness but your reminder tells me that I can do something about it and lift it up to the one who saves. Thank you for being a faithful servant of the Lord. ❤

    1. I don’t watch much news either. Enough of it comes to me without me even trying. Let’s pray. God is truly our only hope…and theirs.

  4. Such a good reminder of going to my “closet” for prayer, beyond my sphere and for the heartaches of the world. Thank you, Laurie.

    1. Yesterday I could not go anywhere without the world’s issues being brought up. The number one emotion named was “sad.” God, have mercy. God, draw near.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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