Cleaning out our closets

Posted 4/9/21

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column features lessons and sermons for children from Annette Dammer’s book “Ready, Set, Go!”

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Cleaning out our closets


EDITOR’S NOTE: This column features lessons and sermons for children from Annette Dammer’s book “Ready, Set, Go!”

The point of it all

If we clean the clutter out of our minds, we can really be with God in prayer.

  • Large garbage bag filled with things you might find on a closet floor: one sock, a childhood game, an old shoe, and a pair of jeans. Make sure to add some silly things, like a rubber ducky.
  • Pad the bottom of the bag with crumpled newspapers or paper to give it bulk and so you don’t have to find as many things to fill it.
  • Add a Bible.
To do’s
  • Practice pulling stuff out of the garbage bag. You want to make it look cumbersome, but also be able to clean up in time to leave the “stage.”
  • Spend time in prayer, and practice “uncluttering” your mind.
Verses to pray on

Matthew 6:6 — “But you, when you pray, go into your room (KJV, closet), and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Ready, set, go!

Do you have a closet? (Pause.) Closets seem to gather stuff, and sometimes we have to clean them out, don’t we? Cleaning out a closet can be quite a job. (As you’re talking, pull stuff from the bag. Remember to be funny. As you pull each piece out, look surprised.)

What a mess, huh? I find a lot of stuff I don’t expect to find — every time! (Pull out the skeleton or something silly.) But when I’m done, I always have more room in my closet. Better still, I can find what I need — like my favorite jeans. (Pull one last silly thing-like a rubber ducky! Make faces.).

Did you know that there is a closet in the Bible (Pull out this last thing, the Bible.) Oh no, let’s hope our Bible’s not in the closet! Anyway there is a closet in the Bible. In one verse, Jesus says that when you pray, go into your closet, shut your door, and pray. What He means is that we should pray in a quiet, secret, uncluttered place.

Sometimes we get all cluttered inside — worrying, dreaming, thinking of what we want to do next. We need to clean out that stuff, too. We can’t fit God in a cluttered mind anymore than we can fit into a messy closet.

Maybe we can start our prayer with a prayer – like this: “God, please help me clean out my worries to focus on You. Help me to see only You, dream only of You when I pray today.” Then we can really hear the prayers we say and know that God wants us to learn from them. And things will be less likely to bonk us on the head, like in our messy closet. (Smile and shake your head.)

Let’s pray. Father: you know how hard it can be to clear our minds. We live in a busy world with much to think about. Help us to see prayer as the rest that it is. Help us to hold on to You, to see You. Because that is where we want to be. Amen.

Annette Dammer is a columnist, teacher, former children’s minister and author of the book “Ready, Set, Go! A Year of Object Lessons.” This column includes lessons from her book. The e-book is available for free at You may reach her at


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