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Her Closet Was Her Refuge

Prayer Refuge Trials

Source: BBC News articles, 5/11/13 and 11/17/99

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2022-02-23

Scripture: Matthew 6:6

Author: Neal Pollard
4

ILLUSTRATION

42-year-old Sefa Cebeci was with her husband in a seven-story building in Duzce, Turkey, when just before 7:00 P.M. local time on November 12, 1999, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the city.  The building collapsed, and when all was said and done nearly 1,000 people were dead—including Sefa’s husband who was right beside her. 

Despite rescue team leaders from some countries calling off the search for survivors after three days, an Israeli team pulled her from the rubble after nearly 5 days without food and water.  She would have to have an arm amputated and her kidney failure from dehydration nearly killed her. 

She was able to survive in freezing temperatures for 105 hours under tons of concrete. How? A closet fell on top of her and protected her from her collapsed house.  Her closet became her refuge.

APPLICATION

Of course, Jesus exhorted us to “enter into thy closet” to pray, rather make a vain, public show of ourselves (cf. Matthew. 6:6, KJV).  The word “closet,” variously translated “inner room,” “your room,” “private room,” and “inner chamber” is translated “storehouse” or “warehouse” (Luke 12:24; Matthew. 24:26), and also “bedroom” or “chamber” (Genesis 43:30; 2 Kings 6:12; Zodhiates, Spiros).  It refers to any place of privacy where one cannot be easily seen. 

If we are to survive the challenges of life, we must seek refuge in our prayer closet. The peace and strength we find there will prepare us for every kind of calamity.   

Praying In The Wrong Direction

Prayer Perseverance God's Will

Source: "Imam discovers worshippers at his mosque in Turkey have been praying in the wrong direction for 37 YEARS," by Ross Ibbetson, The Daily Mail, Oct. 19, 2018

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-12-31

Scripture: Matthew 7:7 ; 1 John 5:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
12

ILLUSTRATION

The Daily Mail reports that worshipers at a mosque in Turkey have been praying in the wrong direction for 37 YEARS! According to one news outlet, the mosque was built facing the wrong direction in 1981. 

To make matters worse, it is believed that this was the result of it being built based on the original mosque, which would mean that these worshipers have not been praying in the direction of Mecca, as prescribed, even longer than previously thought. 

 

 

APPLICATION

As Christians, we understand that it doesn't really matter what direction we face when we pray.  God is everywhere. Rather, it's our earnest determination to seek God and to know His will that Jesus promised to bless when He said, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). 

We pray in the wrong direction when we pray for the wrong things, or when we pray for the right things but with the wrong motives. We pray in the wrong direction whenever we seek our will instead of God's.  

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us" (1 John 5:14).

A Sincere Prayer

Prayer Sincerity Jewish Stories/Humor

Source: The Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten, Page 98

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-09-15

Scripture: Romans 8:26 ; Matthew 6:9

Author: Charles Krieg
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ILLUSTRATION

A Chasidic story:

"A poor man, lost in the woods, found himself at nightfall without his prayer book, so he addressed this petition to the Almighty:  “Dear God I have done a stupid thing: I do not have my prayer book. And I have such a poor memory that I cannot recite the prayers by heart. But you know all the prayers, Lord,  so I'll just recite the letters of the alphabet, and You put them together in the right way.”

And the Almighty regarded that prayer, because of its sincerity, more worthy than any of the others He heard that day."

 

APPLICATION

I like that story!  It reminds us that when we pray we can say anything. It doesn't even have to make sense. The Lord will put our words together. All we have to do is to pray "from the heart."  The Lord will know that we love him simply because we are spending time with him.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans" (Romans 8:26). 

At A Loss For Words

Prayer Worldliness Communion

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-08

Scripture: Matthew 6:8 ; Romans 8:26

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Be A Pest

Prayer Persistence Faith

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2017-08-11

Scripture: Matthew 15:28 ; Luke 18:1

Author: Charles Krieg
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The Silent Conversation

Prayer Listening Meditation

Contributed By: Glenn Newton | Date Posted: 2017-06-15

Scripture: Psalms 85:8 ; Proverbs 18:13

Author: Glenn Newton
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Prayer Changes Me

Prayer Acceptance God's Will

Contributed By: Glenn Newton | Date Posted: 2017-06-03

Scripture: Matthew 26:37 ; Matthew 26:46

Author: Glenn Newton
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“Eyes Wide Open” Prayer

Prayer Compassion Lost Opportunity

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-09

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ; Ephesians 6:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Will Pray For Pay

Prayer Motivation Witness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-05-27

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:18 ; Luke 16:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
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A Smashing Business

Trust (In God) Anxiety Prayer

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-04-07

Scripture: Philippians 4:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
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