Beautiful young woman leaning on tree and reading bible

Unclutter Your Prayer Closet (Part 3): Creating a Clutter Free Quiet Time

Take 2:

5 am – I get up, grab my Bible, and go to my desk. No music, no cozy blanket, no comfy spot. I evaluate my reading plan. I really like reading straight through one book at a time instead of chapters from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. I dig into Genesis. I read for about half an hour highlighting verses that intrigue me for later study. I do take some time to read part of the scripture in the Amplified just for more insight, but I return to my regular reading after a few minutes. I start to get sleepy and almost doze off, so I switch to prayer time.

5:30 am – I start to grab a book, but I stop myself. I grab my prayer list instead. I still have a hard time keeping my mind on the list, but I do get through it and sincerely pray.

6:00 am – I grab that book and start to read a chapter, and I smile. This was a good morning.

As disciples or followers of Christ, we have some items that should be present in our lives.

Every believer should practice praying, reading the Bible, and fellowshipping with other believers.

Each believer should have a ministry they help with or lead, be involved with a Bible study or a small group, and be discipling others. At least that is what we shoot for.

We tend to fall into one of two types of people. We either don’t have a prayer closet, or we over commit. We try to take on too much, focusing on doing much more than being in our Christian walk. We love God and are so excited about what He’s done in our lives, and we over-commit and over-complicate our time with God.

In our ministry we always encourage people to be involved in one ministry, one Bible study, and actively disciple at least one person. In our prayer closets, we encourage people to find their style and focus on time alone with God, scripture, and prayer. Otherwise, we can get our lives cluttered with too many things.

How can our prayer closet get cluttered?

  • We try to do too much. We commit to too many books, Bible studies, and projects. We start studying more than communing. Not that studying is wrong, but we need a place for both. We need to let God’s Word speak to our hearts and calm our minds. We need to spend time focused on God and lifting up praise and prayers to Him. A quiet time is worship. I can do this easily. I’m usually reading several books at once. What I must do is keep those books away from where I do my quiet time. I keep that time and whatever place uncluttered with my projects. Then after having a quiet time in our prayer closet, we are more prepared to dive into study. I love to have a highlighter and pen with me because as I’m reading, I may want to study a section of Scripture more deeply, so I make a note. But I want to keep my quiet time focused on spending time with God first. I want to be still and wait on God. I want to feel nourished in my walk with Him. If I start studying, I know me. I start asking questions and going on rabbit trails through scripture, and I usually start writing a blog post or article sparked by the study. I love it, but that is not a relaxing, refreshing quiet time with God. I need both. The quiet time also gives us time with God without a real agenda, for most of us. If I’m studying, I usually have an agenda, or one seems to arise out of it.
  • Another way our prayer closet can get cluttered is letting the day’s agenda crowd in on us. If we have a lot on our calendar for the day, we sometimes choose to forego a real quiet time and just go through the motions of reading whatever we’re required to read for the day, and then rush out of God’s presence to tackle our day. If we have a full calendar, then maybe we need to get up a little earlier than usual or even have our quiet time the night before. For me, the night before has worked well on many occasions. I know that I’m going to hit the floor running in the morning, and my mind is going to be going a million miles an hour with what I’ve got to do. But, if I have that quiet time the night before, instead I find I wake up more relaxed and more able to start my day praying as I get things done. It’s wonderful!
  • We clutter our prayer closets with unnecessary or even unbiblical activities. In our culture today, we’ve often blurred the lines between biblical faith and cultural suggestions. For instance, someone may have encouraged us to recite affirmations, do yoga, or meditate in a non-biblical way. We may even overlap our eating and exercise plan as part of our daily routine of “time with God.” We need to use discernment and keep the main thing the main thing. Our prayer closet is for time with God and His word. It is part of a daily routine, but we should not let the rest of our daily routine take up real estate in our prayer closet. We also need to discern if what we are doing is indeed a spiritual practice, but not a godly spiritual practice. I won’t go into detail here, but I would caution everyone to pray seriously about what you’ve allowed into your home and into your prayer closet. We may only understand God like it says in 1 Corinthians 13, like we are looking into a mirror’s reflection or through a glass dimly, but someday we will see Him face to face. But let’s make sure that mirror or glass isn’t smudged with the dirt and distractions of this world to the point where we aren’t truly seeing God much at all.

Decluttering sets us free whether we’re decluttering our home or our prayer closet. Our quiet time can become a blessing and essential to us when we keep it decluttered and focused.

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