No? Me, either. But in today’s reading, Jesus tells us to go there to pray (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18), so it must be important. After all, He does say, “when you pray”, not “if you pray”.
If you check out pinterest for prayer rooms you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed (or inspired or jealous) about what you will see. Some people have spectacularly beautiful prayer rooms while others are more humble.
Perhaps you know the movie, War Room (2015) which highlights the clearing out of closet as a spot dedicated to powerful prayer. Also, a very neat idea and back over at pinterest, you’ll find some of these along with more than a few prayer corners in well-used, quite full closets!
However, you may be more like me, living a house where space is at a premium and having a dedicated space is more of a luxury and just isn’t working out.
BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t have an inner room. In fact, we all have an inner room. Our own hearts and minds will become that inner room, that prayer room Jesus tells us to visit if we make it happen.
Here’s the plan – pull together your favorite prayer books, a Bible, a prayer journal (if you like those), favorite prayer cards, Rosary along with an image of Jesus and/or a crucifix. Put them all in a basket, or bowl, or even a shoe box (decorated or not) and you now have your inner room.
Then, setting your phone somewhere away from you (and perhaps, even off) as well as turning the TV off and other distractions; close your eyes and put yourself in your perfect inner room. Quiet your mind, picture yourself with Jesus at the seaside, maybe working along His Blessed Mother or in one of those lovely rooms you saw on pinterest. Ask Jesus to make the space you are currently occupying into your ‘inner room’ and He will.
Then begin to pray! Let Jesus know how much you love Him, write in your journal, share your problems, maybe read a chapter in the Bible. Just be with Him as your best friend and as Matthew 6 reminds us, “And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
The nice thing about such an inner room is that it can be pulled out easily if you are sprinkling your prayer time amidst children, laundry or any of the other many tasks of parenting. Prayer time throughout the day is just as effective and delightful to God as a committed longer time. We may all hope and desire a quiet 1/2 hour or so, but we all also know that some days even that is a luxury.
You can even make a second one to keep in the car when you are waiting for a child, stuck in traffic or at the doctor’s office. I made myself a ‘prayer purse’ which I keep in my car so just such moments.
In other words, you need nothing more than a committed heart for prayer to create a lovely ‘inner room’ to spend some time with God. Of course, the prayers uttered in those beautiful prayer rooms or closet corners fill God with joy but so do the prayers whispered in the playroom, at the poolside and as you fall asleep. After all, where ever you are, He is also there, just waiting to hear from you.