As was the custom of the priests, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary and burn incense in the LORD’s presence. - Luke 1:9

Prayer has been described in many ways—intercession, praise, the debating chamber of the soul. Prayer is all these things and more. But prayer, first and foremost, is a place to meet. In the Old Testament, God invited his people to meet him at the altar of incense in the tabernacle: “This is to be a daily burnt offering given from generation to generation. Offer it in the LORD’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance, where I will meet you and speak with you” (Exodus 29:42).

In the New Testament, Jesus spoke of finding a private place where you can shut the door behind you and pray (Matthew 6:6)—and he served as an example for us by going frequently to a solitary place. “But,” wails a young mother, “what can I do? I have forty kids under three years of age!”

Now, I know that is not really true! You only have four—it just feels like forty! I managed to find a place once when I was in a similar pre-dicament. I climbed into the children’s playpen and put the toddlers out! Five minutes with God by my “altar of incense” made all the 
difference in the world—my world!

Yes, prayer is a place to meet; this is God’s design. We need to pray about finding that personal place of prayer.

“Lord, help me to find my solitary place; and whether it be in church, in a closet, or even in a playpen, meet me there—even as you promised. Amen.”

For Further Study: Luke 1:5-25 

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.

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