anticipation, communion with God, drawing near to God, God's presence, prayer, quiet time with God
At a women’s conference some years back, we were taught the value of having a prayer table, giving a focused way to draw into communion with God. On the table we were to place things that reminded us of our spiritual journey, the concept coming from the book of Joshua where God told the Israelites to place rocks in certain places as acts of remembrance (see Joshua 4:6-7).
The things I chose for my prayer table were these: an old hymnal that I had sung and played from so many times it was falling apart; a few small stones to remind me that just as God had been faithful to His Israelite children, He had been faithful to me; a candle whose flame would help me move into a quiet time; a small wooden angel, a reminder of the angels God has watching over me; a cross, the cost of my salvation; a favorite devotional book that has provided more insight than any other, “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers; a small plaque with the words of Jeremiah 29:11, words that encouraged me though an especially tough time in my life. And last, but the first thing chosen for my prayer table, a Bible given me at the time of high school graduation in 1961. This beautiful white Bible with a zipped cover was particularly special to me because it came from a neighboring church pastor and his wife and not my own; I had been remembered with the same gift he and his wife had given to the graduates of their church.
A prayer table is only one way of establishing a focused place for prayer. Some have a rug or mat that they spread and lie face down on to pray. Others choose a closet or room without windows to remove all distractions. I find the music of a certain artist, Terry MacAlmon, a tremendous drawing power to the throne of God and his songs of praise are the first sounds that fills my house every morning. Whatever the mode, anything that helps us move deeper into God’s presence is a good thing. Jesus Himself taught us that.
“Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer” (NET).