The Grow Christians community is a generous and helpful one. Last month I posted about my quandary creating a space for prayer at home. So many of you wrote in to share your spaces for prayer with me! The following people gave permission to share images of their places for prayer and the stories that go with them. I found them inspiring and I think you will too.
The Rev. Ethan Jewett sent a recent photo of his home oratory. He wrote, “It’s in our small guest room at home. I sit in my desk chair and pray the Daily Office. It consists of a small statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, an icon of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe that I bought in Mexico, an Orthodox icon of the Crucifixion, and a candle on a breakfast tray! It’s nothing fancy, but I find it centering and restful, and everything glows beautifully in the soft light.”
Alexia Gordon wrote, “Mine is in the corner of my bedroom.
I still have a few icons and a house blessing to hang on the walls. I live in El Paso, near Mesilla, New Mexico so it’s easy to find Mexican nichos and candles. The Buddha head is actually a Scentsy warmer.”
The Rev. Lois Keen wrote, “I made my prayer space in a corner of the main room.
The prayer shawl on the settle was a gift from the Hartford Chapter of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross when my three years as their chaplain was finished. Now I am a Discerner in the Companionship, headquartered at Adelynrood in Massachusetts. The bear was my comfort companion as I went through the years of learning to thrive as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The desk came from a church I once knew. This is the most comfortable prayer space I’ve had in all the homes we’ve been in over the last thirty-six years.”
The Rev. Mary Lee Wile shared photos of two home altars… one dedicated to Mary, and another used for morning meditation.
The Rev. Regina Laba Walton says of hers, “This is a crate from Michael’s that was less than $15. I love the skinny beeswax candles because they burn down to nothing without drips. I buy them online from an Orthodox convent. Like every other space in my house, there are too many books in the prayer altar.”
The Rev. Carol Westpfahl writes, “Wise mentors told me if I used the prayer space regularly, eventually, just walking by or looking at it would call me to prayer and remind me of God’s presence in my life, and that has turned out to be true. At times it seems to reach out to me and invite me to pray.
The items in my prayer corner have varied, depending on what God was up to in my life at that time. Currently they include icons, the devotional books I am currently using, candles, a few beautiful things from nature (a rock worn with circles by the tides, etc.), some items of personal spiritual meaning to me, my repository of blessed healing oil, and a few quotations (a sign saying “so blessed,” a rock chiseled with “trust”).”
It’s Nurya again… I am making slow but sure progress on my prayer space, which is probably going to be much simpler than these inspiring images of long-loved space for prayer. It turns out that there will likely be two… one in my basement (which is exactly the last place I expected it to be) so I can have a space to focus when other people are awake in my house. The other will be in my sunroom.
Neither are anywhere close to be ready to share! But… stay tuned… progress continues.
What stands out to you about the altars shown here?