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Prayer Place

A Prayer Place should be a quiet place where you can withdraw and feel secure from interruption. Jesus said 'When you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly.' (Matthew 6.6)

There are times, of course, when Christians are to pray together (see Matthew 18.19) but Jesus is talking here about individual prayer, not corporate prayer.

And the secret of effective praying as individuals is to pray in secret.

Every Christian needs to have, if possible, a Prayer Place. A quiet spot in which to pray, for such a spot will gather spiritual associations which will quicken his imagination whenever he goes there, and will call him to prayer even when inclination ebbs.

Praying with friends, or with your family, is a necessary and vital part of prayer, but to build up your personal relationship with Christ you need to spend time with God alone. I realize, of course, that for some, the finding of a quiet Prayer Place is almost an impossibility.

Those who live in overcrowded homes, or share a room with a non-Christian in a college or university, will find it difficult to find a private spot in which to pray. Difficult, but not always impossible.

It's amazing how the Lord leads His children toward appropriate private spots and places when once He sees within them a desire for intimacy with Himself. A young man from a large family, all of whom, apart from himself, were unbelievers, asked a pastor to pray with him that God would enable him to find a quiet spot in which he could conduct his daily devotions.

Some days after they had prayed together, he telephoned the pastor to share a most amazing story. He said he was on his way to work that morning and noticed a minister about to park his car in a small car park adjacent to a church.

He felt led to go over to the minister and share with him the fact that he was a Christian. During the course of conversation the young man told the minister about his problem of not being able to find a private Prayer Place in which to pray.

The minister said, 'Well, don't let it be a problem any longer. I come to my church every morning at 7 a.m. to do my own praying. I have a spare room which you can use if you wish, and when I am away then you will be able to borrow the key and use it indefinitely.

There are innumerable instances where Christians, desirous to spend time alone with God and unable to do so because of circumstances, have been directed by Divine guidance to private spots or places in the most remarkable manner.

And even if a private Prayer Place is not available, don't let this keep you from a time of regular communion with God. A young businessman and the only Christian in a large family, told of how he overcame the problem of not being able to find a private place in which to pray. He travels on an early commuter train that takes about 45 minutes.

'I spend almost all of that time' he said 'in contact with the Lord. Although the train is often crowded I have learned to become deaf to the distractions. As soon as the train pulls out of the station I climb the stairs in my soul to the sacred Prayer Place of my imagination where I picture myself meeting with the Lord Jesus.

Every morning He greets me with a smile and says "I'm glad you've come".' Admittedly it has taken him some time to learn the secret, but with patience and perseverance you, too, can learn to build a chapel in your soul.

It's astonishing how real a secret chamber can be built within the heart by imagination and consecrated thought.

Dr W. E. Sangster tells, in one of his books, the story of Charles de Foucauld who lived a hermit's life in the deserts of North Africa. He was sometimes invited by the French officers to their mess.

On some occasions the officers told stories that passed the bounds of propriety. Rather than leave the Mess, he said, he learned to sit still and withdraw into a secret Prayer Place of his soul.

When he was asked if he felt upset by some of the stories passed around he said he never heard them because he was in his own 'oratory'. That kind of oratory any man or woman can, with determination, build within his or her own soul.

It should not be forgotten, also, by those whose prayer life is hindered because of lack of privacy, what it is always possible to go for a walk with Jesus.

Christmas Evans, one of the greatest preachers, tells of walking along the base of Mount Snowdon one evening and entering into such a spiritual tete a tete with the Lord that it transformed his whole being. How true it is, as the hymnist put it: 'Where e'er we seek Thee thou art found, And every place is hallowed ground.

The PRAYER ATMOSPHERE in which to meet Jesus



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