Editor’s Note: Enjoy this excerpt from beloved author Anne Graham Lotz (called the “best preacher in the family” by her father Reverend Billy Graham). The Daniel Prayer Bible Study is based off the prayer of Daniel, who prayed on behalf of his nation, Judah, which had come under God’s judgment. Today, Lotz continues to utilize the Daniel prayer model to encourage, equip and engage readers in effective, passionate prayer. You are invited to join us for The Daniel Prayer Online Bible Study starting June 11th. Register today!
Daniel had a specific place that he designated for prayer, which was an upstairs room in his home to which he withdrew three times every day (Daniel 6:10).
We don’t know anything else about this room except that it had windows facing west. His preparations may have been as simple as setting aside this particular place for prayer where he could be undistracted and undisturbed. A refuge away from the all-consuming culture closing in around him.
I’m convinced we all need this kind of sacred space set aside for special time alone with God. My designated, prepared place for prayer in my home is the corner of my living room. On one side of the wingback chair where I sit is a fireplace. On cold winter mornings I light the fire, and it adds a cozy ambience that I find appealing. On the other side is a table with a drawer in which I keep several different translations of the Bible, three small devotional books, a Bible-study notebook, a personal journal, my reading glasses, pencil, pen, legal pad, iPad, and tissues. I want everything in place so that once I sit down to pray, I don’t have to keep jumping up to find my pen or my glasses or get a tissue for my constantly dripping nose. Gathering those materials required preparation that included selecting a Bible that does not travel with me, but is used only for the purpose of prayer so that it is rarely removed from the chair side table. In that way I know it’s always available when I pray.
But I also know I need the regular, disciplined prayer of others. When I began my international ministry almost thirty years ago, God impressed on my heart to establish a Personal Prayer Team. They meet on Thursday mornings in the home
of one of the members. I send them a weekly prayer letter on Wednesday that lists answers to prayer from the previous week’s requests, then gives more requests for the coming week. Four of the ten ladies now serving have been on my Prayer Team for the entire time. I was blessed beyond words when my daughter, Rachel-Ruth Wright, not only felt called to be on my Personal Prayer Team, but two years ago was selected to be the Chair.
While these women pray for me personally, several years ago I became acutely aware that our ministry office and staff also needed a dedicated prayer team. So I set aside a place for prayer in my ministry office. I did this when one morning in my early morning devotional study of Exodus, I was struck by the fact that Moses had set aside a tent outside the camp of Israel and designated it for prayer. I knew God was impressing upon me to set aside a room in the office where nothing else would take place except prayer. So I did.
I selected a room in the center of the building and placed enough chairs in it for every staff person who serves at AnGeL Ministries. I had the walls painted a navy blue to give it a quiet, secluded atmosphere. At one end of the room is a small bench in front of a large cross, one made of mirrors so that those kneeling before the cross can see themselves reflected in it. At the other end of the room is an easy chair with a table beside it on which is a lamp, a box of tissues, a Bible, and a card box containing prayer requests people send to our ministry. Outside I hung a small framed sign: The Meeting Place (Exodus 33:7–11).
While the room is available for staff members to slip into during the day when they want to spend a few moments in quiet reflection, meditation, and prayer, I felt that more organized prayer was necessary. So I asked God to bring to my mind the names of women that He had chosen to be a part of the AnGeL Ministries Office Prayer Team. He did. When I called them, each one agreed to serve. Another immediate, precious personal blessing was that my daughter, Morrow Reitmeier, was one of the names God placed on my heart. She agreed to serve on the Office Prayer Team and has been a member ever since.
From that time until today, on Thursday mornings every week, these six very dedicated women gather in the Meeting Place to pray for the office staff and our ministry needs. To do so, the staff has to submit individual requests to the Prayer Chair by Tuesday afternoon so that she can email the list out to her team. That way the Prayer Team is already prepared to pray when they arrive on Thursday mornings. Once a month the Prayer Team invites a staff member to meet with them to get a fresh, firsthand grasp of his or her needs whether personal or professional.
The positive difference prayer has made in our office and ministry staff is beyond measure. My staff overflows with love for God’s Word, God’s Son, God’s Gospel, God’s people — for each other and for me. The harmony, unity, efficiency, and stability have been more than wonderful. It’s been supernatural.
It’s clear evidence that God hears and answers prayer.
While God meets us wherever and whenever we call out to Him, a Daniel-like commitment requires deliberation and preparation in order to maximize the impact of our prayers. For me, the commitment began with my decision to place prayer at the heart of my ministry, and then I have had to maintain that commitment by ensuring it is fully carried out by the Prayer Teams.
Think about this for a moment.
While you may not need a team of people praying for you, do you have perhaps one or two friends who could be your prayer partners?
People you could pray with once a week or when difficulties arise and you feel you need the support of someone else’s prayers? And do you have a designated Meeting Place? Would you consider establishing one? Make the commitment to place prayer at the heart of your home or your office.
I understand that not everyone has the space to set aside just for prayer. When my sister’s children were young and she was living in a small house, she kept her Bible study materials in a cardboard box underneath her sofa in the family room. When she had a few moments, she pulled out her box and had everything she needed for prayer. Obviously, her commitment to pray required preparing a box of readily available materials. She found a way to make it work within the context of her circumstances, something we all can do.
I know business professionals who go to their office an hour earlier in the morning to have time for prayer. Their “materials” are on electronic devices so that they have all they need to meet with the Lord before their day begins. But even electronic devices need preparation to be readily available for use in prayer. You need to have previously downloaded apps for the Bible, for devotionals, and for other materials to enrich your prayer time.1
Would you not only consider designating a place in your home or office for prayer, but would you make the commitment to do so? Now. Then follow through and do it.
- Please visit my website, www.annegrahamlotz.org, and download our ministry app that offers free Bible study materials and devotionals. You can also sign up for our free e-devotional that will come to your inbox every day. It has a Scripture verse and brief application of what it means for life today.
Excerpted with permission from The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz, copyright Anne Graham Lotz.
Do you have a prepared place for prayer? I would love to clear out a closet like Miss Clara did in War Room (Wouldn’t that be awesome?), but I don’t have that kind of space available. My place is a corner in my room where I keep my Bible, notebook, several devotionals, tissue, reading glasses, water, and Blistex lip balm because I can get distracted by anything, even dry lips. What about you? Come share with us about your prayer place on our blog! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full
Take our Prayer Quiz!
If you can’t see the prayer quiz here, try this link.
The Daniel Prayer
Anne Graham Lotz
FaithGateway Price: $22.99