An excerpt from Pastor Mary Jo Pierce’s book Adventures in Prayer

I didn't always have a prayer chair. For a long time, I was like a nomad, roaming from bed to couch to chair and from patio to kitchen table to lap desk. I knew I should have a quiet time and place to pray, but none of those places felt like home. None of them felt settled. I needed a place, a regular place, to meet God face-to-face. As I thought about my place and what it should be, God opened my eyes and I saw it—the chair. I moved it to a special corner and I put a table next to it. I knew I was home after I placed my Bible, journal, and pen on the small table—my place. Through this simple act, I established a dedicated spot, a chair that had only one purpose—to meet God there. This would be my tent of meeting (Exodus 33:7) or my secret place (Psalm 91:1). 

Over time, this chair has become a place of comfort, counsel, and conversation. This chair has become a set-apart, consecrated, and holy place for me to meet with the living God. This is a treasured chair—my sanctuary and hiding place.

My prayer chair started as the place for my morning meeting with God. However, over the years, it has become the “seat of counsel” when I face decisions, questions, and fears. It is in those times that I retreat to my chair. On my lap sits an open Bible with my journal next to me, and often a facial tissue in hand. I seek His thoughts, words, directions, and peace.

Here in this chair, I am me. No one knows me more than He does. I don’t have to pretend to be braver, stronger, or smarter. This is my safe place to be totally transparent, honest, and real. This is my authentic altar for prayer. In my honesty, God accepts me. In this place, He meets me with kindness, wisdom, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. This is the most adventurous place I’ve ever been.

So many amazing exchanges happen in this chair. Sometimes I feel like a spectator and say to myself, “Did I really find this scripture?! ... It is God’s perfect word for this situation. Did this idea really come to me? It must be God because I would never have thought of that myself!” I’ve even been known to declare out loud, “God, You are so fun!”

At other times, I have no words. I cannot give full expression to my pain, worry, or fear. On those days, I sit—just sit—and He ministers to me. I sit longer. Then His grace washes over me. I sit even longer. His love embraces my heart, and tears easily flow. 

Do I always leave my prayer chair with clear direction? No, not always. Often my prayers and cares are about others, like family and friends. I pray for those who are hurting, struggling, lost, sick, or wounded. I will talk to God until I feel the burden lift and the fear evaporates. Even if I don’t know all the answers, I leave my chair believing that God is working, and I have joined with Him. 

Finished for today ...

Finished for now ...

I have now transferred everything into the Father’s care. I also trust that the Lord will continue speaking with me as I go throughout the day. For now, I will move forward with the things I do know.

One young mother heard me teach about my prayer chair. She went home and began clearing a space for her “tent of meeting” chair. Her young children soon became curious about their mother’s activities. Why was she moving a chair into her bedroom specifically to sit and pray?

“What are you doing, Mom?” they asked.

She responded, “We can all hear God anywhere and talk to Him at any time, but this is my special chair where I will sit and talk to God and listen to Him.” So, she began to use the chair.

A few days later, her six-year-old son approached her again. He asked, “Mom, I need to talk to God—can I use your chair?” She told him that he could, so he sat down in it. The mother watched his facial expressions; the boy was having an intense internal conversation with God. After a resounding “Amen,” he shook his head and said, “That was a really serious moment right there!” Then he told his mother that the Lord was going to help him start making better choices at school. The mother was amazed. Bringing that chair into the house helped her focus her prayer life; yet, how could she have known that the chair itself would be an answer to prayer?

My Message to You

Jesus often went away from people to pray. And one of the greatest joys of your life will be the uninterrupted time you spend with your heavenly Father. The best way to make sure you have that time is to intentionally establish a place to pray. Make it a sacred place, set apart, and safe. If you are willing to make this small move, I promise that the Lord will meet you there face-to-face. You will have conversations, revelations, and answers to your prayers. I know you will grow from that special place. You don’t need a designated set-apart place to meet with God. But trust me, you will want one. 

Mary Jo Pierce is the pastor of Prayer & Intercession at Gateway. Her new book, Adventures in Prayer, will be released on March 15 and will be available in the Gateway Bookstore and Mardel. To learn more about Pastor Mary Jo, visit maryjopierce.com.

Join Pastor Mary Jo for a book signing on March 15 at The King’s University from 7:00–8:30 pm. There will be worship and light refreshments.