#dailydevotions #strengthfortoday #holyground
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. (Matthew 14:23)
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:6)
18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying,… “ (Luke 9:18a)
Time out to pray. Jesus did this despite all the clamor for His attention, time, and favor. He took the time, made the time. He loved people but He sent them away. He desired to meet their needs but He withdrew ALONE. He encouraged closet prayer–finding a place and time to be alone with the Father.
On August 28th, 2015 a movie was released starring a feisty little lady, Karen Abercrombie, and Bible teacher and daughter of Tony Evans, Priscilla Shirer with the theme of doing war God’s way: Prayer! War Room began a movement to do what God had commanded when He said “go into your closet and pray to the Father in secret:” To storm the gates of Heaven for our families and our nation. A renewed interest in the subject of prayer ignited and Bible studies tackled this topic afresh, Priscilla Shirer in her Bible Study, Armor of God writes the acronym
There is little I can add to the discussion really. I will share I find it difficult to quiet the voices clamoring for my attention and make this a first priority. In the past few years as my home has emptied out and left me rolling around like a lost marble in a big box it is easier. I love my screened porch and when the weather is conducive this is where you will find me preparing Sunday school lessons and praying. To be honest, the only way I can truly pray effectively is with a pen and a piece of paper (a prayer journal). It helps me focus my thoughts, pray God’s Word, and keep a record of not only all I have petitioned but record the answers because otherwise the “old-timers” would rob me of this priceless faith building information. Going out on the Ranger into the pasture at night and star-gazing is a restful and thought provoking endeavor and I feel the Presence of God as I marvel at the way He flung stars into space and they tell His story. The ocean is a place I feel “at home” and under the water leaves me immersed in His love and astounded by majesty. The mountains of Colorado get me as close to heaven as I have ever been. The sheer beauty of the grandeur leaves me speechless. It is no wonder to me Jesus went to the wilderness, to the mountain, to walk in the dew of early morning, and to sit in the deep of the darkness. He made all this and I am sure He longed for HOME. Just being with His Father was enough to make this His number one need while He was on this earthly journey. I do not believe His ministry would have been nearly as effective without this determination to be with the Father. He loved His Father and needed Him desperately while confined to His humanity. Did anyone not have their needs met because Jesus took the time to spend in prayer? NO, in fact Scripture tells us He healed all, (Matthew 9:35) fed all, (Matthew 14:21) and enjoyed the fellowship (Mark 2:15) with others.
Jesus found a time and a place to spend with the Father. This should be our first priority. Find a time and find a place! Inform those you love as Jesus did, this is time you MUST have. Invite the Holy Spirit to guide the time. Jesus said, Pray to the Father in His Name. (John 16:23-24) Keep a journal of your prayers. Find Scripture that addresses the issue. (Matthew 4:1-11) Claim God’s Promises. Above all, ask the Lord to reveal any area of your life not pleasing to Him and deal with it. Jesus did not have to do this but this we must do. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)
Pinterest is full of “closet” ideas. I have always loved my friend Lisa’s prayer nook tucked under the stairwell. There she carved out a spot for a desk and a comfy chair, a sweet lamp, and writing implements. My sweet mom loved to prop up in bed as she waited on four teens to arrive home surrounded by her Bible and study helps. The officer and gentleman had a desk in our spare bedroom where He did business with God before he went to do business in the world. Sharon the “stickee note queen” uses these as prayer reminders. (see Calling All Encouragers, August 28, 2015) Mine is often in the quiet hours of waiting at work. Wherever you find a spot, create a space you can go to war for your family and friends and church–this is HOLY GROUND. The world will be affected by the damage you do here to the enemy. Remember Jesus gave us the keys to the kingdom and we are suppose to use them to bind and loose. (Matthew 16:19) More about those keys later!
United corporate prayer is necessary but solitary prayer is vital. Jesus is our example. How much more do we need this? Do we dare face the day or the night without this communion? Jesus was NEVER alone. He was with His Abba Father. Do we love the Father best? Is He first?
Laura Daigle First
Do you need strength for today? Go to the closet, the mountain, the desert, for a ride in the car, wherever you can be alone with the Father. He alone is our energy source.
Treading in the fog,