Why do we think everything has to be pretty and perfect for us to totally get through to God? As if our direct line will somehow be disconnected if it doesn't meet the specified design qualifications.
We have journaling bibles, journals, devotionals galore. We hang up cute signs with fun sayings and quotes. We spend so much time creating a colorful space that will LOOK like it feels close to God that it never actually feels like anything. Instead of it helping us to better connect with God, all these frills just simply end up clogging up the line.
Come on, I know you understand what I am saying. Think about it. How many of you wanted to create a prayer room after the movie War Room was released a few years ago? The idea of having a closet or dedicated prayer space was not the so-called norm. Then, all of a sudden, everyone needed one.
And, what happened? Everyone started decorating the space to make it pretty. And, of course, merchandising companies jumped on the bandwagon and designed cute corkboards, inspirational notecards, pillows, and so much more for you to fill up your prayer room and walls. Websites, like this one, became dedicated to teaching you just how to transition the space into something magical.
Except... one thing was missing: the actual prayers!
Getting wrapped up in all this hype is easy. Unfortunately, though, it won't take long for you to realize that something is missing and your prayer space feels empty and cold.
Think about your prayer life
It is a good idea to take time to think about your prayer life. How strong is it? How dedicated are you? Do you spend very long in prayer? Do you have a dedicated prayer space or schedule?
Daniel - yes, the one who survived the lion's den - had a designated prayer schedule and space. Did you know that? Everyone who knew him knew when and where he prayed. It was like clockwork.
"...he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." - Daniel 6:10 (NIV)
You can read the full text here or start in the Book of Daniel in your Bible.
God doesn't care where you talk to him, what it looks like, what you say, or even what your hair looks like. In fact, he wouldn't care if you spent time with him before you even shower in the morning!
When it comes to prayer, the only thing that matters is the relationship between you and God. Nothing else.
Personally, I have always struggled with this. Every now and then, something just seems disconnected between God and me. And, usually, when I take a hard look at why this is happening, my focus seems to be on worrying about something meaningless.
My family and I planted a garden (and thankfully we've kept it alive thus far). God's been meeting me here lately. Sitting outside for a half hour every morning, God and I either chat or I simply listen. No frills. Just me, a plastic chair, and the great outdoors. Well, a cup of coffee, too, of course. And God shows up no matter what!
Do you have a specific place where you like to talk to God?