For Jesus followers, prayer is an important form of communication. It is how we talk to God, how we hear from God, and how we connect with God. We are told in scripture to pray in secret (Matthew 6). In that passage, Jesus isn’t telling us we should never pray out loud with other people. He is addressing a heart issue. He is instructing us to be authentic in prayer. We shouldn’t pray in public like we know Him but never spend time alone conversing with Him.

In Exodus 33, we get a glimpse of a prayer habit of Moses. Moses took his own tent and set it up far away from camp. He would journey out to the tent to meet with God. Verse 11, and so the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.

I have learned to have a prayerful attitude in many circumstances. Busy schedules, noisy children, notifications on my phone, and swirling thoughts inside my head are all a part of my reality. As my Christian walk has matured, I have found ways to pause the outside world and connect with God even in the midst of the chaos. BUT, and this is a big but, I have also learned that there is no substitute for quiet time set aside for talking and listening and sharing with Him.

For me, the ability (or inability) to find a peace that is not dependent on my circumstances stems from the time I have dedicated to God in private. The moments I will tell other things to wait and give God my full attention set me up for success in moments when the world is pressing in. When I am faithful in finding that time, He feels quite close. When I have lacked that commitment, I feel more alone. In my experience, it is a direct correlation.

Moses spoke to God face to face like a friend. I believe He wants that kind of closeness with us, too. He wants a relationship with us. Time with us. Connection with us. I encourage you to pitch your tent far away from camp. When you can, make the journey to spend time alone with the One who longs to greet you there. Peace.