I had a friend who used to tell me to say a prayer for her every time I went to church. It annoyed me because it seemed like she thought I could only pray when I was in church. Although I prayed in church, most of my prayer life has happened wherever I happen to be.
In my living room, reading my Bible.
In my kitchen, doing dishes.
In my car, waiting at a stop light.
When I was a child, I actually knelt by the bed to say my prayers at night.
But here, Jesus tells us to go away to somewhere private to pray.
Over the years I’ve found some beautiful private places. One of my favorites when I was a kid was the campfire circle at Mount Zion. I liked sitting on one of the benches and looking over the lake and the mountains while I talked to Him.
There were two small chapels at Forest Home, the camp where I worked during the summers in college. One had floor to ceiling windows that looked over a lake and mountains. The other was a traditional stone chapel where I fainted after kneeling on the cold floor too long.
When I was in college, I did my best praying while I walked through the college parking lot. I prayed aloud because there was no one around to hear me except for God.
This year, I saw the most beautiful prayer chapel I’ve ever been in. It’s on the North Greenville University campus. The chapel is built as a small square with a tile pool in the middle. One end has a series of stone walls rising to the ceiling, with water falling down them into the pool. Ferns and other water plants grow in the crevices around the water. Wooden kneelers face the other three sides of the pool. There are no benches, so you have to kneel to pray. It is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been in.
There are lots of places we can pray and lots of ways we should pray. A beautiful chapel like this one makes it easy, but even if I only have a messy bedroom available, I can still go away to pray in private. The important thing is to spend time with my Father in private.
In today’s chapter of A Dozen Apologies, Mara goes to Greenville for her apology. I’m hoping that she found some time to go to the prayer chapel on the campus, but even if she didn’t, she definitely needed to spend some time in prayer. What she’s been doing is really hard.