The Vacant Prayer Closet

I’d like to put something out there to all of you for discussion today. As the title suggests, it has to do with our prayer closet. Not the physical place we go to pray in private, but the practice of prayerful communion with the Lord himself. For the vast majority of Christians, the prayer closet remains a vacant place.

Today as I was sending an email reminder to our church that tomorrow evening is our monthly prayer meeting, I was struck by the discouraging reality of how few people ever come to a prayer meeting. This is not a phenomenon unique to our fellowship, but rather is more of a problem that continues to plague the modern church. And more importantly, I believe, prayerlessness is largely the reason for the ‘sensate’ lives lived by the majority of professing believers in the affluent West.

So, I must ask some questions, which I hope you will help me to answer.

1. Why wouldn’t a Christian, if s/he is truly that, want to pray and commune with the Lord and Savior of his/her soul?

2. Why wouldn’t a true believer find joy and look forward with excitement to the opportunity of locking arms with other brothers and sisters in Christ for a time of corporate prayer together, as we see with the early church in the book of Acts?

3. Is the lack of corporate prayer indicative of a lack of private prayer?

4. Is prayerlessness a sign of carnality, or is it a sign of something else?

5. Do you struggle with private prayer, corporate prayer, or both? If so, why do you think this is the case? If not, what are the reasons you enjoy participating and what would you say to those who do not share your experience?

6. Do you pray and attend prayer meetings because you want to be obedient to the Words of Jesus and the Apostles as they exhort us in the Scriptures, but nonetheless you do it reluctantly? And if so, what is your experience after you have participated? How would you encourage others who struggle to overcome the complacency or resistance of the flesh?

I’ve got many thoughts I would like to share on this, and I hope to encourage more prayer in all our lives, but the topic would become a very large post. Instead, I’ll break it up into segments. In the meantime, rather than ranting from my soap box, I prefer to know what uThink. Click on the ‘comment’ link below, and post your thoughts. Let’s discuss together this most-important topic.

Blessings in Christ to you today and throughout the week!

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5 responses to “The Vacant Prayer Closet

  1. I know prayer is one of the most important things we can and should be doing as Christians. Yet I find at times much weakness in my private prayer life which paralyzes me in walking with God in the fullness I know He desires to walk with me in. I find that corporate prayer is at least something more than what I am or am not doing and trying to practice at home. It’s something I can practice being consistent at to fight my flesh. Some weeks in private I will have consistency but many I do not. That bothers me greatly. I may attend a corporate prayer session weekly and pray for the duration of the service but what about my home life? Why is there not more communion with the Lord? I know I have everything to gain through prayer and everything to lose by not. I know I’m at least trying to take steps to be obedient in the corporate sense and I am working on taking steps to get the home life is consistent. This has been the battle for quite a while, being faithful in the small things when nobody is looking. The saddest thing is in a church as big as our here (maybe 10,000 or more per weekend), there are only two people that pray during the 8am Sunday service and maybe 4 during the 10:15am service. Yes some may pray at home, or not but where is everyone?

    • Thanks for sharing Ed. The prayer life is something we all need to cultivate. Certainly our flesh wants to run from it, for there is no immediate satisfaction to the flesh in prayer. We sow by faith in the fields of prayer, and we wait for a harvest. And in our busy, bustling lifestyles we are faced with all kinds of sights and sounds that keep our eyes everywhere but looking up^. Simply put, we are not accustomed to quieting down and doing NOTHING but focusing on the Lord, whom we do not see and cannot touch or smell. Isn’t it interesting we are told to walk by faith and not by sight?

  2. Pingback: One Son-day Morning « Welcome to uThinkology

  3. Many years ago, my roommate and I used to pray together on a daily basis. We were so excited to see how the Lord was working in people’s lives, especially in those areas we’d prayed about without telling others. In a couple of different Home Fellowship groups, coming together to pray for one another was a very powerful experience. We got to know one another intimately and became a close family. And again we got to see the Lord working in people’s lives. I pray all of the time throughout the day, but do I pray daily as I want, first thing in the morning, in the quiet, alone with the Lord? No! Not consistently anyway. And I have a big book of prayer requests growing every day. If instead I hit the snooze button, turn on the TV, fire up the pc, open my Franklin Planner, or start lesson planning, I’ve lost the battle before it’s even begun. I’d like to take up that Chinese “no Bible, no breakfast” motto you mentioned. I also need to wake up with “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”. I love to pray! So I really don’t know why I ignore, neglect, avoid, and procrastinate it. I certainly don’t want to think those verbs describe my personal relationship with Jesus 😦

  4. With all of this it remains important that what we do with the Lord and for him be an overflow from our walk. It’s easy to carry guilt when we neglect this area of prayer. But instead, I am convinced, we should have a sense of loss because we miss him and long for that one on one time, away from the hustle and bustle. But the day we let devotions become the end rather than the means, we’ve lost sight of our supreme goal to know, love and enjoy the Lord. I heard it said once, and think it appropriate here, that God is more interested in devotion than ‘devotions’. Bless you sister, and thanks for sharing!

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