“In continuing this series on prayer, I wanted to focus on abiding in God’s presence. Writing on this subject, my friend Maria Viola offers her intimate, insightful perspective from her experience of God in the quite place.”
The Quiet Place
We can learn to abide in God’s presence wherever we go, in any situation, in whatever we are doing. There is a starting point: being in the prayer closet. I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a hiding place, a quiet place to spend just with Jesus without any distractions. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (NASB).
I want to abide in the presence of a person I love, know, and trust. I believe we could all say the same, so what does that look like? There’s no formula, but Matthew 6:6 gives us a wonderful model. First, find a place where you can pray: I have made a prayer room underneath my dorm room bed where I have strung up lights, have a couple pillows, a blanket hanging from my bed to hide me underneath, and my journal and Bible. Second, close your door: this will be one of the best ways to eliminate distraction and put your focus on Him. Close that door so you can pray and sing out loud, you can intercede where the Spirit leads, and wait in the presence that will fill your place of prayer. The Father, who is in that secret place with you, hears your requests and sees your need. Read these lyrics to Misty Edwards song Silence:
“Silence calls like the rain to a parched land
I drink You in again.
No longer thirsting for what could never satisfy
I’m thirsty, I’m thirsty for You.
In silence, You call.
In quiet, You hide.
In secret, You wait for a lovesick bride.
Jesus, I am here.
Jesus, I am Yours, and You are mine.
Jesus, I have come to steal Your heart again.
Silence calls like the waves ever crashing on my shore.
This broken heart hears a Voice calling me
to quiet places where You hide,
waiting for a lovesick bride to come and steal Your heart
with one glance of my heart, with one glance of my heart.
All I ever wanted is You
All I ever needed is You
In silence, in quiet~
Silence comes like the rain, like the rain.”
Go to the quiet place, to that secret place so that the God who makes all things new can commune with you and impart to you knowledge, wisdom, and His wonderful presence. Never give up on the quiet place where you meet with Him because He will always be there, whether you feel Him or not, because His promises are true and if He says that He is in the secret and He sees you in the secret then this is a true statement. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 (NASB).
If you are not sure what to pray, then start with the prayer that Jesus taught right after telling us to go to the quiet place:
“Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)
This is a good place to start. I pray that each of you would lose yourselves in His wonderful presence.