A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Secret Place
by Dan Vander Ark
Free to Share
Author requests article critique
Free to Share
Author requests article critique
A preacher I once heard said this, “A Christian needs three things for a successful prayer life: a quiet heart, a quiet hour and a quiet place.” Sometimes in the busy affairs of everyday life it’s hard to find a “secret place” where it’s just you and God. And sometimes it can even get a little humorous.
After our first daughter was born we attended a small Bible College in North Dakota. Raising a family and renting a small house meant that there wasn’t much opportunity at home to find a place to pray, so at times I would take the car out into the country to seek the Lord. Sometimes I spent the hour sort of walking/praying in a cemetery (only during the day – and not in the winter). Sometimes I walked down a railroad track about a quarter of a mile and spent time seeking the Lord under a train trestle. One time while doing this I turned around and there was a little old lady standing just behind me! Scared me half to death! She said she was looking for wild asparagus. I think I may have blurted out that I was looking for wild broccoli (she’d never believe I was “praying”). I never saw her walking to my railroad bridge secret place, and come to think of it, I never saw her leave. So I figured she must have been some sort of asparagus angel.
After I became a pastor I obviously had to become more professional in my approach to finding a secret place. We lived right behind the church (a converted barn) in a small town in southwestern North Dakota. I usually went to the church at 5:00 am to pray for a couple of hours. And it was always just me and the Lord. One morning it was real quiet and dark when suddenly I thought I saw the image of a hand slowly reach between the sanctuary swinging doors. I was paralyzed with fear – my knees were almost knocking together. I thought that maybe our little church was being handed over to the Methodists and Lutherans (you know – the Daniel chapter 5 handwriting on the wall thing). Fortunately, it turned out to be one of the church members who decided to join me for prayer.
When I attended church conferences in the big city of Bismarck I would at times leave the motel real early and go find a cemetery to pray in. One time the battery on the car was dead (no pun intended) when I went to start my vehicle. Now what? Fortunately a couple of workers were preparing for a funeral so I asked them for a jump. They brought over the cables, hooked it up, and hollered, “CLEAR!” (Not really, but that would have been funny). Another time the battery died after I had been praying for awhile in a park in Fargo, ND (I must not have been able to find a cemetery). We were visiting my wife’s parents for the holidays. It was zero degrees outside. It was 7:00 Christmas morning. I saw lights come on in a house not too far away so I knocked on the door. I wanted to say, “Ho Ho Ho – do you have any jumper cables?” He kept looking over my shoulder as though he were expecting Rudolph to jump out of the bushes.
When my wife and I and two daughters visited my family it also proved difficult finding a place to pray. At one time I went into a real closet – an upstairs linen closet just big enough for me to squeeze inside. I can’t remember how long I prayed, but probably not too long as I was getting claustrophobia. I heard my sister asking my wife, “Where’s Danny?” My wife must have motioned to the linen closet. The door opened and I almost fell out. My sister looked down at me with sort of a disdainful, “This is my college educated brother?”
And one other highlight on this journey to finding a secret place. It was the summer of 1988 and my family and I were going to candidate for a church in Florence, Colorado. We spent the night in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In the morning I left the motel early and drove our Plymouth Horizon to what I thought was going to be a pretty quiet spot in the country. I had the seat laid down and was praying fervently (if I remember correctly I was praying fairly loudly in my “heavenly prayer language”). Suddenly there was a tap on the window. It was the Sheriff! I rolled the window down and said, “Hello Officer.” She asked what I was doing. What else? I said I was praying. “Riiiiiiiiigggggghhhhhtttttttttt. Can I see your driver’s license,” she asked. I gave it to her and she went back to her patrol car. She and her partner were in there for quite awhile. I figured they were asking headquarters to check for any escapees from a psychiatric ward in North Dakota. They let me go. If they had arrested me I would have had to ask them, “By the way, do you have a secret place in that jail of yours?”
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR, LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
Read more articles by Dan Vander Ark or search for other articles by topic below.
Search for articles on: (e.g. creation; holiness etc.)Read more by clicking on a link:
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles.
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review.
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.