by Katie Burns and Mary Bacher
Praying on a regular basis is one of the most important habits we can develop for the Living Person. However, as we all know, it is not easy and it takes strong personal commitment. Thankfully God has given us an awesome tool, and we want to share it with you all in the hope that it will provide you with a place of peace as you begin the new year.
I guess you could say we both had a busy year in 2015. We each got married to our best friend, moved to brand new homes, and continued working in ministry. As newlyweds, we knew one thing for certain amidst all of the business of daily life. We both shared the desire to form an intentional corner of our new, sweet homes for prayer. In fact, it was one of the first areas we both designed and decorated with our new spouses.
A prayer corner may look different in each home, but its purpose remains the same. It is a small space which serves as a visible reminder to pray. It is both inviting and sacred in nature. It is an area set apart from the rest of your living space for you to come and simply be as you are, either individually or with others. A prayer corner is a place for you to pray with and spend time with our loving God.
Mary - In our little corner, we have a special John Paul II crucifix that we held when we said our marriage vows, an icon of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Sacred Heart of Jesus, candles from retreats we have attended, adorable handpainted nun figurines my mom picked up a vintage shop, prayer cards we have been collecting since grade school, a special rosary from our mission trip to Nicaragua, and a shelf filled with holy reading materials. I am dreaming of adding a cozy rug and a big comfy chair to cuddle up on to pray the nightly Ignatian Examen with my spouse.
Katie - We use our spare bedroom as a prayer room, but as we begin to settle in and accumulate more “stuff,” our prayer corner is beginning to take its true shape. We have a green comfy chair, throw pillows, a side table, a lamp with one of the verses from the Principle and Foundation of Ignatius of Loyola written on it, a variety of crosses on the wall that we have collected on immersion experiences around the world, our special set of the Saint John’s Bible, incense, a jar of Holy Water, an icon of the Korean Madonna, God boxes that we use to write prayers to one another, keepsakes from various retreats and campus ministry experiences, and a bookshelf filled with books that are mostly spiritual or religious in nature.
How can you build a prayer corner of your own? The first step is to look through your home and determine the best location: a spare bedroom, a closet, a small corner of your dining room, or even your desk if you are living in the dorms at college. The key is to discern a location that is easily accessible so that you are actually encouraged to use it.
After you choose the place, look around your home and see if you have an old end table or extra bookshelf you can use to store all of your favorite items that speak to you and help build your relationship with God. Start with the basics and create a space that incorporates all the senses. Do you have a favorite rosary passed down from a grandparent? Definitely add that. We recommend adding a journal and your favorite pen for spending some time reflecting on how God is speaking to you. Add some candles or incense to your corner. If your iPod helps you to pray, add that to the corner and if your previous race medals encourage you to pray without ceasing, certainly add those as well.
Your prayer corner is a place in your home that is a reflection of your relationship with God. It is deeply personal and unique to each individual.
As we begin this new year of 2016, we challenge you to find a quaint corner of your home for daily prayer. God is found in the messy corners of our lives. Invite Him in, and utilize your new space as a location to dive deeper in love with God this year. In the Bible, we read about many instances when Jesus went off to a solitary place to step away and quiet his heart in order to hear God’s voice. In 2016, let us follow His example.
We’ve included pictures of our prayer corners. We’d love to see yours! Send pictures of your own prayer corners to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature you on the site or share on Social Media using #TheLivingPerson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi there! I am Mary Bacher. These are a few of my favorite things: Catholicism, travel, nature, organization, green tea, John Carroll University (go Blue Streaks!), beautiful photos, fair trade, fresh flowers, and making our tiny apartment a home. All of these things are wonderful, but what I love the most is my husband, Steven, and my job as a youth minister. I blog at http://www.lovethebachers.wordpress.com