Beautiful young woman leaning on tree and reading bible

Unclutter Your Prayer Closet (Part 2): You’ve Got Style

Am I the Only One?

I don’t have ADD. It’s important that you know that.

5:00 am – My alarm goes off. I jump up. I’m excited. I have struggled to have a consistent quiet time, but that all changes today. I have a designated place, a designated time, and I’m ready. I have my Bible, an Amplified Bible, a journal, a cool pen, highlighters, sticky notes, a new devotional book, the world watch list printed out, worship music ready, and some tea. I think a quiet time should be cozy, so I have a soft blanket and a comfy spot to sit. I’m ready.

5:10 am – I wake up with my Bible in my lap, my pen on the floor, and cold tea. But I will not be defeated. I try again. As I start reading my chapters for the day again (from my “Read the Bible through in a Year” plan); something strikes me. A verse sparks a question and another. I grab my Amplified Bible and read the verses there. Still, my questions persist. Wait! I have a book that talks about these verses. I go to my bookshelf and find that book, oh and another book I’ve been wanting to read about prayer. And I head back to my prayer closet.

5:35 am – I’ve read part of two chapters in two different books (not the Bible), looked up more verses related to my question, and dozed off again. I give up on reading my Bible and pray. I pray for a friend overseas. I think about how much I miss her and the good times we had in college. I realize I’ve stopped praying.

5:55 am – Lord, I’m sorry. I love You, and I love Your Word, but I can’t seem to focus. I’m the worst daughter ever. Forgive me. Help me. Amen.

Does this only happen to me?

We each have our own style for having a quiet time. We each need a prayer closet that works for us. I’ve tried cozy quiet times. They become nap times. I’ve tried outdoors in nature quiet times. Does the expression, “Hey, look! A squirrel” mean anything to you? I promise you, I don’t have ADD, but I enjoy nature too much. I can’t focus there. So, I’ve found what works for me. We each must do that.

Just for fun, what’s your style for your prayer closet?

Beautiful young woman reading a book, enjoying by the window in modern apartment. Classic reading and education.

You’ve Got Style:

Some people are quiet time minimalists or mid-Century Modern people. This means they spend time with God reading the Bible and praying each day, no frills, no extras. One of my mentors does this beautifully. She has about 45 minutes each morning when she simply reads her Bible and then prays. She starts where she left off the day before, and when she finishes her time each day, she places a bookmark where she will pick up the next day. No reading plan. No number of chapters she must complete. Just simple reading and prayer, communing with her Savior.

Next, we have the traditionalist. This is the person who has a daily quiet time that follows a plan. They may add a classic devotional to their plan as well such as My Utmost for His Highest. They are faithful to read through the Bible each year. They keep a prayer list of those they pray for each day. They update it often. My stepdad is one of these. He sometimes gets a little bolder and reads two devotionals each day. But he’s faithful and consistent.

Modern Farmhouse: These are the disciples who take care of the family first and then have their quiet time. They fix breakfast, feed the dog, maybe even get the kids off to school, and probably straighten up the house before they finally settle down and enjoy their time with God. They are organized and have a routine. If you’re around them, you feel taken care of because they often have a strong gift of hospitality. This is my sister. She’s always been this way, putting others first. Efficient, organized, and down-to-earth.

French Country: this is the quiet timer whose prayer closet is cozy and comfortable. They may have a reading plan, but they definitely have a cozy blanket, pillows, and a cup of tea when they have their time alone with God. They also have highlighters and journals. They love to dig deep into the Word, and they may spend days on a short section of scripture rather than reading through several chapters. They relish the beauty of God’s word and find themselves drawn to the Psalms for extra reading and comfort.

Industrial: These are your quiet timers who hang out in the coffee shops for their quiet time. The busyness around them doesn’t bother them. They prefer to be out of their house where distractions tempt them to lose focus. They may get interrupted by friends at times, or they may even plan to meet a friend there as they discuss scripture together because they find it better to focus on the Word of God when they have people to talk it over with.

Mediterranean and US Beach styles: Both groups prefer to find a place near the beach for their favorite quiet time. If they can’t get to the beach, then they may include soft music, a small fountain, or even ocean sounds in their quiet time. It helps them relax and be still in God’s presence. The US Beach person is more minimalist while the Mediterranean may resemble the French Country person a bit more with a comfy spot where they feel best able to focus on God. This is my husband. He’s more on the Mediterranean side because he loves to have a big pillow to kneel on when he prays. He likes to feel comfortable and at ease while he spends quite a long time with God. He almost always has music playing while he prays. His ideal would be near the beach, and when he’s able to spend time with God there, he loves it.

Young girl reading her Bible by the sea

Art Deco: These people are a little fancy, a little classic, and always seem put together. They are classy and sophisticated and are the ones I’m usually wishing I could emulate. If we saw them having their quiet time, they would be organized, know exactly what they were doing, and would not get distracted by anything. They probably have those sticky notes that neatly underline passages or the transparent ones you can take notes on and still see the verses through them. They are so cool. They are more likely to have coffee than tea and may have some upbeat Christian music playing. Everything seems to give them energy for their day as they spend time with God.

Vintage, eclectic, global: These have different descriptions, but they overlap enough that I’ve included them together. This is me more than any other. We like to have a world map in our prayer closet along with the world watchlist of areas where Christians are persecuted. We have a prayer list of needs from around the world. And we like our prayer closet to be decorated with items we’ve brought back from mission trips or places we’ve been to remind us of those other believers we’ve met and still pray for. We want a peaceful place that speaks to our hearts and makes us happy when we are there. We may have two or three Bible translations we read from, a cool journal, and pictures of our family. Everywhere we look is a reminder to pray. I also usually have a stack of books, but those are off to the side where I don’t focus on them until I’m ready for doing some reading and research. My area I face has a focus, and I feel at home there.

Whatever your style, the point is to create an environment in your prayer closet where you are at peace and want to be there. It is a place where you meet with God, and it becomes as vital as the air you breathe. But all of us can clutter our prayer closets if we’re not purposeful and protective of this time.

woman relaxing on a sofa reading a book with a blanket

Next time we’ll talk about how to declutter our prayer closets.

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