Thursday, 5 May 2016

Finding your Bethel - Your place of Prayer

The English novelist Iris Murdoch once said “Prayer” is the most essential of all human activities” and I must say that this is so true. In the past few months I have really tried to focus on creating a regular rhythm of prayer in my life and I have seen just how essential prayer is to every moment of my day.

Around 9 months ago I attended a spiritual day for Salvation Army officers and envoys in the North West, led by Majors Mel and Kath Jones. In the afternoon we had the opportunity to pray and reflect. One of the prayer stations was on the Stone Pillar of Jacob. It talked about Genesis 28 when Jacob sees the ladder to heaven. When he awakes he says: ‘Surely the Lord is in this place’ and calls is Bethel which means ‘The house of God.’ We were encouraged to consider where our own Bethel is. In our booklet there was also a quote from Henry Nouwen about finding a place of prayer which has been on my mind ever since it says:

“As Jesus invites us, we need to find that private place for prayer. The more you pray in such a place, the more the place will be filled with the energy of prayer.”

A few months later Paul and I decided to watch a film called ‘War room’ which I had been told about by a few friends. If you haven’t seen it before… YOU MUST! It is seriously a life changing film! The film talks about the need for a place of prayer, a War room, where you can battle with the enemy and strategically pray into situations.

After watching the film, at 5 the next morning, I cleared out the cupboard under the stairs and made my very own war room.

Every morning at 6 am I shut the door to the world and spend time with the Lord. It has been a place I have laughed, cried, sang, shouted, worshipped, dreamed and battled. It is my own private place of prayer where I can take it all to the Lord. A place to journal, create and simply be. It is nothing fancy but it is truly awesome because it is where I meet with the maker of heaven and Earth!

In the film, War room, a man enters one of character’s war room, which happens to be a walk in closet. It is now empty, no sign of what it once had been, and as he walks out, he comments that it must have been a place of prayer as he feels it. This reminded me of the writing of Nouwen.

Every day as I enter my prayer space I feel God, I feel it in my soul that this is a place of prayer;

My very own Bethel.

So this morning, I encourage you, find that place. Take a hold of the essential nature of prayer, find your war room, and as you regularly spend time there, you will see the place be filled with the energy of prayer. 

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