Secret (Prayer) Lairs

Batman has the Batcave. Wonder Woman has Themyscira (usually). Superman has the Fortress of Solitude – and, arguably, his hometown of Smallville.

These are vitally important places in the lives of our heroes. Why? Because when they’re not saving the world, they need somewhere to hang the cape, cowl, and tiara. They need time to refocus their energies, refresh their spirits, and isolate themselves from the outside world for a moment – even from their own secret identities. They need to refuel for the fight.

We are all superheroes in our own rights. God created each of us for the purpose of doing good in His kingdom on earth, and His Spirit grants us the miraculous powers necessary to do so (I Corinthians 12:10). Yet we can’t keep up the good fight if we don’t tap back into the Source of our powers – the Fount of Living Water (Matthew 11:28, among many other great verses about spiritual rest).

Before you make your protests, I know perfectly well this is much easier said than done. On my hero’s journey in this life, I pick up a lot of side quests. Besides my duties as the worship and media director at my church, I also help out with kids’ activities, building maintenance, and technical services. I’m part of several local bands and orchestras. I lend my hand in family projects and activities. I have yet to say no to a request for my artistic savvy. With everything going on, just making sure I have enough time to eat can be a struggle.

Distractions add to this problem. Sometimes we think “resting” entails binge-watching a vapid sitcom after a long week, putting on our pajamas at 6:00pm, or catching up on whatever’s going on in our social media sphere. Unfortunately, in my experience I have found these distractions can make me even more exhausted – emotionally, mentally, and physically – than when I decided to take a break. Part of the reason this kind of “rest” doesn’t work is because it’s just procrastination from the things that really need my attention.

During these times, we ought to take a leaf out of our favorite heroes’ tales – and even some of the best character arcs in the Bible – and create a safe haven for ourselves. Call it a prayer corner, home office, closet, or whatever you want. Find or create a calm, quiet, secluded space for yourself. Schedule even just five minutes of your time each day to retire there. Make it happen so you can let go of the fleeting yet ever-present problems of the world, even for a little bit, and focus on the only One who matters at the end of the day.

Again, it can be difficult to put into practice, especially at first. But the more you do it, the easier it gets. Sometimes I have to use my work commute as my private prayer space. In order to make this work, I turn the stereo completely off – which is a highly unusual concept for a worship leader who listens to music nonstop. I have to take my time in the slow lane and stop worrying about how soon I can get home and crawl into my Snuggie. I purposely and decisively let go of all the worries of the day, the next week, and the stressors that await me at the end of my drive . . . and I truly give it to God for fifteen solid minutes. If that’s all I get in the day, it’s more than worth my while.

Think about it like taking a stroll around Paradise Island, a behind-the-scenes tour of Wayne Manor, or breezing over the powdery snowscape toward crystalline isolation. If you can get into that calm space in your mind, you might find talking with the Lord is easier – and more refreshing –than the latest three-star comedy on ABC and a slice of pie.

Actively utilize your own secret prayer lair – and then get out there and save the day like only you can!

Annie Pasquinelli

Annie M. Pasquinelli is the worship and media director at a small church in Eugene, Oregon and the author of the Fearless Nine book series about a team of faith-based superheroes. She is also a scuba diver and a graduate of Oregon State University.

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