ENTERING GOD’S EMBRACE
The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Every morning as I wrap myself in my purple crocheted prayer shawl, I feel the warmth of God’s embrace. I enter into the Holy of Holies, a place made open for us when the temple veil was torn through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Matthew 27:50-51). I enter freely because God the Father has invited me to come boldly to His throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
My prayer shawl helps me feel covered in His presence. I know I’m not alone. I’m covered in Jesus’ love. I’m covered by His blood. The power of heaven covers me as I enter to seek His face.
My morning devotion time is an appointment I treasure whether I’m at home or traveling. I am intentional in setting my alarm earlier than the scheduled plans for the day so I can spend time in this set-apart sanctuary with my Lord Jesus whom I love with all my heart, mind, and soul. Intentionality is key to a devoted prayer life.
A DEDICATED PLACE TO PRAY
Not only do I have an intentional time to pray, but I also have a dedicated place to pray. At home, it’s a special room where I meet with the Lord. I sit in a certain chair where my Bible is nearby.
It wouldn’t have to be a separate room – it could be a closet, a special chair, or any quiet place where I can be alone with Jesus. When our rooms were filled with children, before they grew up and moved out, my prayer room was our small, lighted, walk-in bedroom closet. It was cluttered with clothes and shoes on the floor, but I made it work. It was a place I could get away and be with the Lord. I tend to keep my eyes closed when I pray, so I’m not distracted by the chaotic things around me.
If I’m on vacation staying in a hotel, I like to go out on the balcony to pray. The point is to find a solitary place and follow Jesus’ example: He got up early in the morning while it was still dark, before the start of His busy day, and went to a secluded place to be with His Father to pray (Mark 1:35). If Jesus (the King of the universe!) prayed, then how much more do we need to pray?
A GLIMPSE OF MY PRAYER TIME
I don’t have a set prayer that I recite, but I am consistent with the themes of my prayers.
- My prayer time often starts with Scripture:
“Dear Lord God, You have exalted your Son Jesus and given Him a name above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
- I pray that my family will draw closer to Jesus before He comes back and before their time on earth is done. I pray that they would seek His face and grow in their faith.
- I pray for saving faith to increase in the lives of those who don’t yet know Jesus and that they would receive the free gift of Christ as their Lord and Savior. This pleases the Lord who wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of Him (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
- I also pray for healing for the sick and any special needs. I never worry that I have not prayed enough because I know that the Lord knows the desires of my heart, desires He promises He will give me as I delight myself in Him (Psalm 37:4). For that, I thank Him always!
REFLECT ON GOD’S PROMISES AND PRAISE HIM
- My prayers reflect the promises of God. I trust God’s Word, and I trust Jesus to fulfill that Word in the lives of those for whom I pray. It’s okay to hold God to His Word because He is faithful. He cannot lie. His Word will come to pass! He tells us to come to Him boldly with confidence! Praying His Word back to Him shows that we fully trust He will accomplish what He has promised.
- My prayer time includes praise — I praise God for who He is to me and thank Him for what He has done for all of us. I have an alphabetical list of His attributes, attributes I discovered while reading the Bible. I often praise Him using this list. My list continues to grow. He is truly an amazing God!
As I’ve spent these dedicated quiet times with the Lord in various secluded places, I have seen God move so powerfully in my life and in the lives of those I pray for! I truly enjoy this special time with the Lord. I often walk in and say “Good morning, Jesus,” because I know He is here waiting for me to join Him.
Jesus is in His special place at the powerful right hand of the Father, and I’m in my purple crocheted prayer shawl, enjoying the powerful presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! What a privilege to be invited to this power-packed gathering!
Heavenly Father, we praise You, for You are good. We thank You for making a way through Your Son Jesus, so we can come boldly into Your presence. Please help us to be intentional in planning our time with You. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!
TIME FOR REFLECTION
- Do you struggle with starting your prayers? Why not pray a psalm to God? (Psalm 61:1-5, 8 might be helpful.)
- If “talking” to God doesn’t come easily, could you use another creative way to pray? Draw a cartoon, paint with vivid color, sing a favorite praise song, dance to the tune in your head.
- Have you considered simply being still before God (“Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” [Psalm 37:7a])? God yearns for your fellowship (Leviticus 26:12), so hanging out with Him is certainly an option.
MaryAnne is a passionate follower of Jesus, wife of thirty-eight years to Arthur, and mom to four adult children. A CPA, she founded her own tax business, allowing her to work from home while raising kids. After caring for aging parents in their golden years, she began providing home care for older adults. She also enjoys leading women’s Bible study groups and speaking for retreats. In all she does, MaryAnne seeks to glorify her Lord and Savior and help others experience the joy of His presence!
Show up, lean in, and be intentionally kind. Kindness is love in action. It shapes the relationships between us and builds a strong foundation of deeply caring and faith-enriched communities.