Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent.
It seems that much of my own prayer life is what I would call “on the run.” As someone who needs prayer comes to mind, I say a short prayer for them at that moment. When I need to ask God for wisdom for a difficult decision, strength to get me through the day, or just to give God thanks for the wonderful and blessed life he has given me, I lift up that prayer right then. Whether I am driving in the car, sitting at my desk, going for a walk, or even taking a shower.
Now there is nothing wrong with such prayers. God still hears and responds. Yet sometimes we just need to intentionally get away from the busyness and clamor of the world and be totally focused in praying to God. Give God our undivided attention. Talk to God when we are not distracted or in the midst of the rush of our life. Just as there are times that I need to push aside the commotions of the day and give my total attention to Jayne so that we can just talk and I can truly listen to what she is saying, we need to do the same with God. We need to take that walk to the tent, like Moses.
The passage in Exodus tells the account of Moses when he needed to have a talk with God. He took that long walk to the tent of meeting, outside of their camp. I am sure as he took that walk, he slowly unbound himself of the hubbub and commotion that was going on in the camp. He was leaving the distractions behind as he took each step. The people knew it, for they stood at their tent doors and watched. No, “Wait, Moses—I have a quick question for you.”
Moses was making that walk, intentionally and deliberately to meet with God. I’m sure there were people that needed attending to, tents that needed repair, camels that needed to be fed, but they could all wait for now. Moses had the discipline to walk away from them for the moment. He needed undisturbed time with God.
Don’t we all? But it is so hard to carve out time. Or when we do, to not be distracted by our “To Do” list, or the dings on our cell phones. That’s when we need to take that deliberate walk. The walk away from the noise of the world to the quietness of God. We need to make that walk to the tent.