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“Ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.” 1 This invitation from Amulek is very inspiring. The problem is that little voice that comes in your head that says “well my closet can’t even fit all my stuff, how can I pour out my soul in there?” So we don’t pour out our souls in our closet. And too often we don’t pour out our souls at all because we don’t find that secret place where we can connect with God. Well, here are a few closets and “secret place” ideas where you CAN pour out your soul. No more excuses from that little voice. Full-time missionaries (remember this?) pray 23 times a day if they make 5 visits and 33 if they have 10 visits. Many times more. Why do we not pray as much after the mission? It’s time to make a change. It’s time to draw nearer to God. We need to #praymore.
1. The Closet of Your Car
I think I have had more prayers in my car over the years than almost any other place. Especially when I had roommates who lived in the same room. You can always pray out loud in your car. Sure people may think you are talking to yourself, but God will know and when God knows, it doesn’t matter what other people think. You could also always do a combo of this closet and the closet of your iPhone (see below). Either way, the closet of your car is a great way to have no excuse not to pray out loud. Please keep your eyes open if you are actually driving.
2. The Closet of Your Shower
I had a roommate who took the longest showers! I didn’t really care because we lived in the dorms and the hot water never ran out there. I never really said anything because you don’t really ask your roommate why he showers forever unless you are sharing a utility bill and it is really pumping up the gas. One day, my roommate and I were talking about how we sometimes feel weird saying our personal prayers in the same room together. And he just said: “I don’t pray in here. I always pray in the shower. That’s why I take such long showers.” The shower might just be a good closet to pray in because (hopefully) you go there everyday and you are alone. Just be nice and maybe use one of the other suggestions if you share a gas bill with someone. And it’s not my fault if you turn into a prune from showering too long!
3. The Closet of Your Bike
If you don’t have a bike, then just skip to the next one. If you do and you say it is too cold, please see “the Eskimo-style closet.” No excuses. I have definitely prayed on my bike before. One of my bishops was a road biker and actually told me that he received some of the greatest revelations while riding his bike. Use judgement and prudence. Even though you usually would take off whatever may be on your head out of respect, it’s okay to wear a helmet and pray. Be safe, ride well, and pour out your soul while riding your bike. It is actually quite exhilarating.
4. The Closet of Your iPhone
I have seen them too. Those people who talk really loud on their phones in public places. They have a blue-tooth earphone device on their ear or they have the microphone cord / headphones and they are just yammering off. This happens all the time. I’m not saying to do that. But if you have absolutely no where else to go, put in your headphones and talk to God like you were calling your best friend to just chat. You could even hold up your phone and use it to write down thoughts you have while you pray. God is just as personal as anyone you text or call. You don’t have to be loud or annoying. You can be reverent, but I think it is perfectly fine to pretend like you are talking to someone on the phone so that you can pray. Be reverent, be respectful, but use this when you have no where else to go and you need a closet that can be anywhere. You can even keep your eyes open (like the closet of your car).
5. The Closet of Nature
Whether you have a big enough closet or not, everyone should go into nature to pray. There is something amazing about spiritually connecting with the Creator amidst the Creator’s creations. This one should be done as often as one can. And if you live in the frozen tundras of Siberia, see “The Eskimo-style Closet” below.
6. The Closet of the Elevator
Some elevators can actually be really great closets because you can enter in them alone and then pray while they are empty, and you know when someone else is coming. Choose your elevator closet wisely. One of my dear friends used this method on BYU campus for an entire semester while she was sharing a room with someone she didn’t feel comfortable praying with. She always told me how she felt very close to God that semester. Her secret prayers and connection to God were the true elevators. When we make a sacrifice (even if it seems silly) to draw near unto Him, He will bless you abundantly.
7. The Closet of Walking / Jogging / Running
I have received some amazing answers to prayers while I was running. One of the reasons why TheReturnedMissionary.com exists is because of revelation I received while on a prayer-run. Whether you walk, you jog, or you run, it is a great way to get out and free your mind of the worries of life. Not only will you be away from the rest of the world, but you are doing good for your body, creating endorphins which allow you clear your mind and elevate your thoughts and connect even further with the Spirit and with God. There is a real, spiritual synergy that happens when you connect your body, mind and spirit, and physical exercise is an wonderful way to make that happen.
Connect with God. Run!
8. The Eskimo-style Closet
Okay so some of you live in the frozen tundras of Siberia. It becomes less convenient to go outside in these situations if you don’t have a secret place inside. But it is still possible. And you will be blessed to the same degree of sacrifice which is made. Just put on all your warm clothes and go to a secret place and pray. Maybe take some hand warmers too.
9. The Closet of the Temple
This is the best closet. Some will say that the temple is full of people when you go. This could be true, but they should all be there to pray like you. Pouring out your soul in the temple is the norm. If you don’t feel comfortable praying in the temple, you may want to study the purpose of the temple. The word “temple” actually comes from the Greek word “templum” which means “a cutting or intersection.” 2 It is just that: an intersection between earth and heaven – between you and your Maker. He is there. It is His house. And He will listen when you go there. Go to the temple as often as you can and all the other closets and private places will become even more holy because you will become more holy in them.
If we make the effort to #praymore, the promise will come true that God has given us:
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” 3
What other closets and secret places have you prayed in?