For the last 20 years I've helped people just like you find breakthrough through prayer. This blog is a resource for you to see mountains move in your own life and family. You can contact me anytime via email or through Instagram:
My name is Cheryl
“Quick,” said Peter, “there’s nowhere else,” and flung open the wardrobe. Susan, Edmund, and Lucy jumped in close behind. Bundled inside the closet the four children got in among the coats, their faces brushing against the fur as they made their way to the back. As they went further in they found a second row of coats hanging up behind the first. Pushing their way through, the children took two steps, then three. It was surprising how much room was inside!
Suddenly they found themselves walking not through coats but something hard and rough and even prickly. Why, it felt just like tree branches! The temperature was dropping rapidly, and at the same time the children felt something cold and crunchy under their feet. Then they saw a light ahead . . . and a moment later the children found themselves standing in the middle of a snowy wood.
Behind them stood the open door to the wardrobe. They could still see the empty room on the other side. Yet this side of the wardrobe the children had entered another country—a strange and wonderful world where they were about to encounter a myriad of intriguing adventures and fierce battles.
The children in The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis learned with each new adventure and battle: the “farther in and farther up” you go, the bigger everything gets! As Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discovered when they stepped into the wardrobe: the inside was larger than the outside.
So it is with prayer.
Jesus talks about a special place for prayer in Matthew 6:6. The King James Version calls it a “prayer closet”; the New International Version describes a secret room where you can close the door. It represents a quiet place where we meet with God—to talk to Him, to worship Him, to read his Word, to hear what He has to say to us. This may be a literal closet or prayer room, or it may be another special place such as a favorite chair, park bench, or under a tree.
The time comes when it’s not enough just to pray for and with our children. They must develop their own personal relationships with the Father, speaking to Him in words from their own heart. You may want to introduce the concept of a quiet time with God by talking with children about the meaning and mystery of the prayer closet. God in Heaven listens to the Christian and will point us to answers when we shut out the world and create time to listen to Him.
It’s common to feel like our prayer room needs to look a certain way when we approach prayer– perfectly aligned, clear acrylic bins holding our needs and our desires, putting all of the cares of the world in rainbow color order– but the reality is that God doesn’t care what our closet looks like. In fact, the moment we invite him into our closet he does the dirty work for us. Just imagine Jesus coming in like Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit– working with you through your weaknesses, your guilty pleasures, and all of your mess– and then sending you to rest, while the Holy Spirit does all of the organizing. That’s our Jesus.
At church, we gather as a community to worship, find revelation in the Word of God, and pray for one another’s needs. But in the prayer room, we bring our most personal, vulnerable selves. Hurting or grieving, perhaps, but whole in Christ as we seek His presence.
Though prayer closets are quite different from other kinds of closets, they are similar in one way. Just as other kinds of closets keep our belongings in order, spending time in the prayer closet keeps our lives clean and in order. In the prayer closet, we learn to put first things first. When we enter the prayer closet we find truth, purpose, and direction for our lives.
Sometimes we need to clean the junk out of our closets. In the prayer closet, however, God will clean the junk out of us. We may enter with guilt and shame, or a big problem for which we have no answer. When we take these things to Jesus we can leave feeling clean and at peace. Encourage your child to think about an imaginary shelf in his prayer closet where he leaves all of his sorrows, sin, and burdens with God. Perhaps the Psalmist David had a prayer closet in mind when he wrote: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).
The wonder and mystery of the prayer closet is this: no matter how far in and how far up you go, there is always more to see. Just as we reach the pinnacle in our mountain’s climb, we discover a whole new land stretched out before us—all beckoning exploration and filled with endless spiritual adventures.
Have you lost your faith in the supernatural or your wonder in the unseen things of the spirit? Do you want to reignite your wonder? Jesus will meet you in the prayer closet. His promises are true, and he is waiting for an invitation to enjoy life with you.
You might introduce your child to the idea of a prayer closet by discussing various types of closets. For example, bedroom closets contain clothes and shoes. Bathroom closets hold towels and linens while hall closets keep old pictures and many memories. Life is full of stuff. It is our responsibility to create a space for the things in life that matter to us most.
“What are some things we might find in a prayer closet?” Suggest such things as a Bible, pictures of people you are praying for, worship music, paper and pencil for journaling prayer requests, and those things God speaks to your heart.
Most importantly, a prayer closet is a place where we can enjoy the things of God. These things are very real although we can’t see them with our natural eyes, such as friendship with the Lord, God’s glory, the voice of the Holy Spirit, the armor of God, and power to accomplish God’s mission for us on the earth.
Here are some ways you can incorporate joy and excitement around spending devoted time with Jesus:
My kids are often motivated by music. With the help of your child and a streaming app, create a prayer room playlist with all of their favorite worship songs. (If you’re unsure of where to start, you can reach out to your church’s children or youth director for a list of songs used in their weekly curriculum.) Worship music will set the mood, feel familiar in an unfamiliar activity, and set their mind on heaven.
Although it may seem less spiritual, your backyard may be the perfect place for a, particularly active prayer warrior. Set up their favorite sport, like soccer, and when they score a goal, they can pause and pray, and then keep shooting. The more they score, the more they pray!
There is nothing sacred about their choice– except that they will stay longer in the presence of God if they love where they are meeting with Him.
Cheryl Sacks is the best-selling author of The Prayer Saturated book series: The Prayer Saturated Church, Prayer-Saturated Kids, and The Prayer Saturated Family—How to Change the Atmosphere in Your Home through Prayer. Her newest book, Reclaim a Generation, 21 Days of Prayer for Schools, will be available soon at ReclaimAGeneration.com
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