It had been a while since I had opened the door to my prayer closet. Our spare bedroom had become the hub for a “sorting project.” I had decisions to make: keep, sell, donate, or toss. Until the fate of these items had been decided, they were hung on a spare rack, folded on the bed, or in tubs and baskets on the floor. So, my prayer closet became neglected.
I decided it was time to do something about it. I began making decisions on the items that were taking over that room. Instead of just looking into the room in disgust and walking away, it became a more open and pleasant looking space again. And I finally had room to freely re-open that closet door.
I opened the door, knelt, and began reading the prayer letters and note cards taped to the wall. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. I didn’t think it had been that long since I had been there. It felt like I was stepping back in time though, as I read prayers that I had forgotten about, verses and phrases that had strengthened me, and challenges that I am still battling today.
It’s not that I had neglected my time with God. I just became comfortable with praying on the couch in the morning while sipping my coffee, reading my Bible, and journaling. I had forgotten about the value in having that closet. I wondered if I felt like I had outgrown my need for it. Maybe that is why I walked away, or maybe I had just let life’s messiness take over again. So, it went back to just being a closet in a spare room with notes taped to the walls.
I don’t think you outgrow a prayer closet really. There’s nothing wrong with the morning routine I currently have, but I began to remember the benefit of the closet. The comfort that comes from reading answered prayers, ongoing struggles, healing verses and phrases, and adding new things to the wall, isn’t the same kind of comfort that comes from sipping coffee on the couch.
When I read through prayers for challenges that still exist I thought, “That is still a problem. Why hasn’t that been answered?” Then I thought about the struggle at the time I wrote it versus now, and I realized it’s a work in progress. It may not be answered, but changes can be seen. Movement has been made. God is working it.
In some cases, God has changed me since then. In others, the situation changed. Still, there are requests on the wall that I can pray about but cannot change myself because it involves others. Until others submit to Him, the situation remains unchanged. I can cover it in prayer, but the solution remains between God and that person only. And I realize I have grown into thinking this way because the me that taped those prayers to the wall originally thought I could change it. I have learned to let go of some things because they are His to fix, if meant to be, not mine.
Who knew that re-opening a closet and reading notes taped to a wall could be so therapeutic?
I have been kneeling in there more often again, not daily, but frequently. I’m grateful for what I’ve learned from that closet.
I pray that my reflections on this have stirred some of your own, friends.
Open that closet, or that journal, and reflect on what God has done for you, or what you need to return to.