Making room for prayer (literally)

March 31, 2009 | 52 comments

Sometime last year I became familiar with the concept of creating a special space for prayer within your home, either a prayer corner or perhaps a prayer closet. I read multiple accounts of people who created such a space, and all unanimously agreed that it not only transformed their prayer lives but turned their houses into “domestic churches.”

I knew that regular commenter and occasional guest blogger Steve G. had such a space, so I asked him about it. He sent me the following thoughts along with a picture of the prayer closet he created for his family:

The prayer closet is a good sized closet in our home that I have totally emptied, and turned into a sacred space. I have a crucifix, and several icons, holy water, candles, and several shelves at different levels, a prayer ‘rug’ on the floor, my prayer list, the Bible, and all the prayer books I could want. And as I pray I face east, which is (and this was something new I learned) the tradition of Christianity from time immemorial. This idea of a specific sacred space carved out of the home (it can be a prayer closet or a prayer corner) was the major element I took from the excellent Earthen Vessels book that my spiritual director gave me.

I really can’t emphasize the impact that ‘space’ has had on me. That little sacred room calls to me. I’ve found myself, in the middle of the storm (maybe when I am caring for all three kids by myself and they are not listening, and I have no more patience), withdrawing (more like running) to that little room for five minutes to beg for help…and of course getting it. That sacred space in the home (which also historically has been the tradition in most Christian homes) has been the big piece that I think was missing in all my previous attempts. It may not seem like a big deal, but it has had a profound impact.

And I’ll only briefly mention how this space draws the little ones: one of my joys was sitting outside that closet while oldest son took his little sister in there, and closed the door to show her how to pray. To hear him gently showing her (at 2) how to make the sign of the cross. To hear our middle son request that we say night prayers ‘in the prayer closet.’ I hate to keep going on and on, but I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of having this little ‘sanctuary’ in our home set aside for building up all of our prayer lives.

Sold! I knew that this was something I wanted to do as well, but wanted to wait until I felt “called” to do it (since it would be just like me to fixate on creating a prayer closet to the exclusion of actually praying). It’s been more than a year since I first began praying/thinking about this, and I recently got the message: Now is the time.

The problem is, there’s no obvious place for a prayer closet or corner in my home. So I wanted to ask you guys:

Do any of you have a special place for prayer set aside in your homes? Any tips for getting creative to carve out a space like this in a bustling household?


  1. Martha

    Well, first, you need to make sure the 3 foot tall bunny goes in there, so the kids will want to go in… ok, sorry, no, no help after all.

  2. Christine

    Our family dining room table is where a lot of prayer happens, meals shared and wise words passed on to our children. We pray outside, we pray on our living room floor, we pray kneeling by our beds. We PRAY in the car! Lots of places!!! No closets though…too much stuff!

  3. expat


    When we lived in a house in the US, I had a whole dedicated “prayer room”, but now that I live in a small apartment in Europe, I’ve had to make adjustments.

    I have a small corner table in one of the corners of my bedroom. On top of it are a candle or two, some icons and an incense burner. The surface is simple and uncluttered.

    I also have a print of the painting, “Light of the World” by William Holman Hunt on the wall by the table.

    I have a small folding chair that I can set up and take down easily that is tucked into a convenient space.

    Over time, I’ve found that the space really does mark itself as holy ground. When I am feeling out of sorts or upset, spending a few minutes just sitting before my makeshift altar can change my whole attitude.

    Even when I’m just passing through the room or doing housework, it is there as a reminder to me to practice the presence of God.

    I couldn’t live without it now.

  4. Aquila69

    My wife and I live in a small studio apartment, so this is a problem for us. She’s quite creative, though, so she used a trunk in the middle of the main room and put a smaller chest in front of it. Over both she draped a purple cloth, and on both levels she placed a few icons, candles and other items. Since most of the time we pray sitting on our couches and those face the trunk, it creates a nice focal point. It’s not the prayer closet or corner that I’d prefer to have, but since it’s all the space we have it’ll do!

  5. Aquila69

    My wife and I live in a small studio apartment, so we don’t have the space for a prayer closet or corner. She’s quite creative, though, and she managed to make one. She placed a small chest in front of a larger trunk to create a 2-tiered space, and over both she draped a purple cloth. On each level she placed a few icons, candles, and other items. Since most of the time we pray on our couches facing this space, it creates a nice focal point. She changes the icons and other items according to the liturgical season or feast day. It’s not the prayer closet or corner we would prefer, but given the lack of space in our apartment it works!

  6. Randy Furco

    Prayer is more powerful than many realize!

  7. Jordana

    We use our mantle as the main location of our icons. We keep our prayer books in the living room and pray in there at night with the kids. However, my living room is not a room set off from the action. It is generally the middle of the action, so it is not a quiet spot to leave the world behind for a few minutes and pray when I get overwhelmed by the screaming masses.

    I think I might have to work on carving out a spot, perhaps in my bedroom where I can close (and lock) the door for a minute or two.

  8. Abigail

    We hung a shelf on one of our dining room walls, under our picture of the Virgin Mary. On the shelf we keep our hymnal, our book of Daily Prayer, candles and prayer cards. We’ve got a hook for rosaries, etc.

    Our dining room/ living room is one big open area. While I don’t get to literally shut the door, “praying in the middle of all the chaos” is also good. My young kids can play in our living room and see me praying the Daily Hours. Staying visually present usually means that my kids are content to let me go as long as 25-30 minutes without interruption.

  9. Unashamed

    Lutherans practise this too (though not widely), in the form of a “family altar”. It is the same concept – an altar set up in an area of the home that is set aside for prayer and devotions.

    I have our “altar” set up on a shelf in our living room. The room itself is little used, so it makes a nice quiet spot. I didn’t have room for another piece of furniture, but I did have room for shelf over the couch. The altar is adorned simply with some candles and a cross which hangs in the centre. It works nicely for private prayer but it’s a big enough space for corporate devotions as well. Hope that helps!

  10. Susanne Barrett

    I don’t have any closets in my bedroom (an attic space) and not nearly enough in our very old home. So I’ve just converted my bedside table.

    I’ve hung my two icons and some simply framed (WalMart $2 frames) religious artwork I’ve printed from online on the wall behind the table. Then I’ve hung my prayer beads on the bedpost in easy reach. I have my stack of prayer books and Bible right there, a candle, and a large cross on the table. And I either sit on the side of my bed or kneel right there to pray. It’s more my private area than a family one because our kids aren’t allowed upstairs (only room up there, and no door for privacy), but it’s a great place for me to withdraw for prayer.

  11. SuburbanCorrespondent

    All wonderful ideas; but I’m begging you, Jen – skip the candles! Too many little ones around…

  12. Laura

    We have two common prayer places in our home, one in a back hallway with a kneeler and alter table with various religious items on it. The other is an old TV cabinet that we’ve turned into an alter table with statues and the bible on it. The place where I spend most of my prayer time, however, is in a corner of my bedroom where I have my books, a small table and a rocking chair. The kids know it is my prayer time when they see me sitting there.

    I think it is a great idea to have a dedicated prayer space as it really reminds you about praying, even if all you do is walk past it and glance at it.

    Hope you can find a good spot for you and your family.
    God Bless!

  13. Groovewoman ♫

    A prayer closet is a good idea, if you use it for a quiet place to get away and focus on the Lord. Just be careful not to actually create an "alter", because we no longer have to go to an alter to talk to Jesus. We can pray and talk to Him anywhere we are.

    I say be careful, because a lot of people begin to focus on the "alter" and all the "stuff" on it, which in turn causes people to focus on "spiritual" things and looking to ones-self, instead of actually going before the Lord and turning & setting our gaze onto Him. It's something the bible warns about. It's one way Satan tries to turn something good into a twisted New Age mindset.

  14. Party of Eight

    Hi Jen,
    We have a shelf, pictured in this post:
    It is in our living room. My favorite time for individual prayer is early morning before the kids wake up. I like to pray the Rosary with the kids during the day, and now the Stations as well. Good luck! Looks like a lot of good ideas 🙂

  15. Charlotte (Matilda)

    And as I pray I face east, which is (and this was something new I learned) the tradition of Christianity from time immemorial.

    When I was at college, my most favorite priest/professor would always ask us to face the direction of the nearest tabernacle to pray. I wonder which would be considered as having primacy?

  16. Anwen

    Gee, that makes me want to keep my clothes in a cedar box so I can use my closet in this way. My prayer corner is just next to my bed. I have my Bible, journal, pen, bedside table, candle, and a little Orthodox icon of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. I need to use that space more!

  17. Em.

    I made a corner of my walk in closet dedicated to this purpose. It’s right under the eaves, and when it rains it’s even cooler.

  18. TwoSquareMeals

    I love this idea! We also have a very tiny house with no unused space. Currently, our icon, cross, candles, and prayer books/hymnals are on a bookshelf beside our couch. When we do family prayer in the evening, we set them up on the trunk/coffee table.

    But I like the idea of having a dedicated space set up all of the time. I know several people who just use a small corner table, perhaps in the dining room where a chair can be pulled up if needed or in the living room where you can grab a couch cushion for kneeling. If I do this, I might switch out the cloth covering on the table to go with the seasons of the church calendar.

  19. becomewhatyouare

    Like Jordana, we use our mantle as a type of altar. It is high enough to keep our nicer statues safe from little hands and we can light candles there safely. We have a large (about 2.5 feet or so) Oberammergau crucifix over our mantle, and a Divine Mercy print right under that, so it it a wonderful space for us to place ourselves for prayer. We also have a hook next to the fireplace where we keep a bunch of rosaries.

    While it is not “out of the way” or a separate space, we can all sit on our sofa and/or love seat and place ourselves in front of the altar ~ there is plenty of room in the living room for all of us to gather to pray a rosary or chaplet. It is a nice quiet private place in the morning for me where I pray before anyone wakes up. For those crazy moments where I need to be alone, I just lock myself in my bedroom for a few minutes.

    One day I might make a prayer room out of our dining room. It is our former school room turned play room, but one day when we don’t need all those toys in there, it would make a nice prayer room… I have so many ideas! 🙂

  20. Sara

    Our living room is relatively empty, with just a piano and a couple of armchairs flanking a neat little table. The table is old and has 3 shelves around the sides and it spins. We keep religious books there, especially prayer books and books that are good for meditation. We also have our icons on the wall in the room, plus our image of the Two Hearts near the table. On the table are a statue of Mary, a crucifix, basket of rosaries and a votive candle. Since the room is wide open our family of 8 has plenty of room to gather and kneel every night. I try to do my meditations there. I guess you could call that table our family altar. But it faces west. Oh well.

  21. Anonymous

    Hi Jen! Love your blog.
    I’m Eastern Orthodox, so we have an icon corner in our house. Every home traditionally has one, preferably in an eastern corner (or on an eastern wall) of the house. It’s often in a very public part of the house so it’s visible, and so the entire family can gather there for prayer. Ours is in a corner of the living room. Usually there is an icon of Jesus, one of Mary with Jesus, a cross or icon crucifix, and also icons of your patron saint(s). Often there will be a table, chest of drawers, or shelf on the wall there too, to hold other things like a Bible, holy water, candles, incense, prayer book, and so on.

    A prayer closet is a really neat idea too, as a private place for prayer in a busy household. We have a smaller icon corner in the bedroom where I can pray more privately (and quietly!) when I prefer.

    If you google “icon corner,” I’m sure you can find some great photographs of people’s icon corners to get a better idea of what they look like.

    God bless! 😀

  22. Maureen

    I pray in a chair in our family room and when the weather is warmer go out to my screened porch. But I remember that my Mom, in her last apartment, had a wing backed chair that sat facing a small table that held a crucifix, a little statue of Mary, a rosary, candle and a couple of books of prayers. It seemed like a very holy corner to me even though it was right there in her bedroom.

  23. Blair

    We put a “prayer table” in a corner of our living room. That way I can sit at the couch and gaze that way to pray, or we can kneel together there to pray. My girls like to put a stool there and “read” from our family bible and play mass. We have a crucifix and holy images on the wall, and our bible, rosaries, Mary statue and candles on the table. I’d like to make tablecloths for the liturgical seasons one day. Also special to us is how that “table” has been used as an altar for 2 masses at our house! Hope you find the perfect spot in your home for a prayer place!

  24. Alana

    When we moved, we picked which east facing wall would be our “icon wall” first thing. It’s in our dining room and we stand there for morning and evening prayers. Icons of Jesus, and the Theotokos holding the Christ child, and a crucifix, shelf with oil lamps and icons of various saints surrounding that in almost a circle.

    In our living room we have some icons on the mantle, too.

    And in my bedroom I have an icon wall also, for when I want to be alone and pray.

    …and then there’s that little shelf above my kitchen sink that I’ve put some icons on to help me pray when I’m loading the dishwasher and working in the kitchen.

    I wish our place were big enough for a dedicated closet. That IS a cool idea. But we had to make spaces all over our home, instead.

  25. Bender

    At the risk of being the wet blanket here —

    I’m not too keen on going too far with the dedicated prayer space. It just seems too much like sticking God in the closet, and we already do way too much of that these days as it is.

    As attractive is the idea of a quiet place to get away from the noise and havoc of the world in order to pray, the danger of such a dedicated space is that the space might have a tendency to become the only place for God or prayer. Then you have the situation of God has His space while you and the family have your space.

    Rather than simply one prayer space, should not the entire home be a place of prayer? Rather than one crucifix in one special place, perhaps have crucifixes, one in every room? Perhaps a religious picture or icon in several rooms? (If you want to get really ambitious, stations of the cross or rosary mysteries.)

    Create a sense of the holy throughout the home. Let God shine everywhere. Maybe that would cut down a little on the wild behavior in the house or, if not, it would at least provide multiple reverent places to pray.

    Having one dedicated place has its initial attractions, but I don’t like the feeling I would get of assigning a particular place to God, of limiting Him to that place, either figuratively or literally.

  26. Elizabeth

    I’ll admit we are a “Crucifix in Every room” family…We have a beatiful old statue of Our Lady of Grace in our Living room. We keep a liturgical candle burning 24/7.
    I have several different colored outside glass holders for the vavrious seasons (currently purple). I too like to say my morning prayer and Mass readings before the children waken…sometimes on my exercise bike, actually…it is on the sun porch, where I can watch the day break…
    We also have a beautiful statue of the Infant of Prague just inside the front door with The Immaculate Heart/ Sacred Heart image hanging aboue…with several other pieces.
    We tend to pray our family rosary before bed in the family room. My husband put together a set of DVDs with images of the mysteries on them and we play them as we pray (only TV in the house)There is a different image of each mystery for each Hail Mary…it helps the little ones to focus…especially my 4 year old, who now wants to “lead” a decade even though all he knows is the “Hail Mary” part! He is also developing quite a dedication to the Holy Spirit, through searching for images of a “dove” in each mystery. He asks every day,”what Mysteries are we praying today, Mom?”

  27. Anonymous

    Great topic, Jen!

    Early on in my return to the Church, I read a magazine article about making a sacred prayer space in your home and so have practiced it for nearly 13 years. I have developed two prayer places — one in the corner of our living room (which is a combined living room/dining room) where we keep a framed painting of the Blessed Mother tucked on a cabinet along with the Mass cards of deceased loved ones from our parish family. The other place is in our master bedroom, near the window, inadvertently facing east (!), like Maureen — I use a wingbacked chair there and small side table. Once long ago, on a very awful morning, out of desparation, I used that chair as a “prayer chair” and thus it has been ever since. Makes me feel as if I am sitting in the lap of Our Father and that no harm can come to me there.

  28. Christine

    Maybe there’s some space in the living room? If it’s a place to relax, where the family gathers around the TV and so on – maybe it’s also a place ‘to meet Jesus’…

    I really like the idea… :o)

  29. Meredith@MerchantShips

    I like our surfaces so spare that the thought of a permanent space for display makes me uneasy. Jordana and I have talked before about the need for “holy clutter” for the kids’ sake, but I am much more a pray-without-ceasing, private person.

    For me, Barbara Curtis’s notion of God meeting her in the laundry room works well. It’s relatively isolated from the rest of the house, no one else wants to go in there, and there is (ample and abundant) reminder for whom I most need to pray.

    Maybe I can compromise by hanging something on (or in) my cabinets there. Maybe there’s something else I’m missing by not having a visible and dedicated place.

  30. SteveG

    When I was at college, my most favorite priest/professor would always ask us to face the direction of the nearest tabernacle to pray. I wonder which would be considered as having primacy?

    My understanding is that ideally, they should be one in the same.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s always the case with more modern churches.

    I would think (just my opinion) that the tabernacle and Jesus real presence would take primacy of the purely symbolic presence in the East.

  31. SteveG

    I’m not too keen on going too far with the dedicated prayer space. It just seems too much like sticking God in the closet, and we already do way too much of that these days as it is.

    Rather than simply one prayer space, should not the entire home be a place of prayer? Rather than one crucifix in one special place, perhaps have crucifixes, one in every room? Perhaps a religious picture or icon in several rooms? (If you want to get really ambitious, stations of the cross or rosary mysteries.)

    Create a sense of the holy throughout the home. Let God shine everywhere. Maybe that would cut down a little on the wild behavior in the house or, if not, it would at least provide multiple reverent places to pray.

    The dedicate space/closet* was not meant to be suggested as the only place by any means. For our family at least, it was an addition to the other places you mention.

    We have an icon wall in the dining room, and generally have icons, crucifixes, and the like spread throughout the house. I can’t think of a room in the house that doesn’t have at least a few such visual reminders.

    In addition, the dinner table and family meal time is a huge place for prayer and conversation.

    Our daily family Rosary is said in our playroom (because it’s most comfortable for everyone).

    Blessings and prayer happen everywhere throughout the day. In general I think we’d agree regarding the need for a pervasive sense of holiness and God’s presence throughout an entire home.

    All that being said, the addition of dedicated/reserved space has been an incredible blessing for our family.

    Far from becoming the only place for prayer, it has become what the writer of Earthen Vessels suggested…leaven in the home. It has increased the sense of the holy throughout the home.

    The two are not only not meant to be mutually exclusive, but we’ve both found that the quiet personal prayer (we have far too little of that in the modern world) strengthens us in every other aspect of our faith life including the prayer and devotions that are more public, and more spread throughout the home.

    *it doesn’t really have to be a closet. I primarily drew inspiration for that from Christ’s injunction to go into our inner room to pray in secret.

  32. MemeGRL

    So inspirational (you and your reader-commenters), as ever. Thanks!
    I have always wanted a chapel in my house since I read Gone With the Wind in junior high. While our current house configuration (and needs of current residents at current ages) don’t quite allow for this, I do have a wall in my living room with my sacred items, and several on the shelf above the hooks for coats, etc. This way, they are part of our lives daily and with us in our usual playspace and routines. My kids are too kinesthetic to appreciate quiet reflection right now–I think–but I appreciate that if I had the space, they might use it (bunny or no, Martha!). Food for thought and renewed inspiration for this end of Lent…

  33. Jolyn

    I know this doesn’t help you, but I once heard of a mom of many children and no space who would put a blanket over her head for her prayer time. Her children learned not to bother her when momma had the blanket on her head.

    Maybe you could get creative with a strategically placed curtain? Hanging from the ceiling or draped around a bench? Kind of like the curtains in doctors’ offices to grant the patients some privacy, and it could be drawn back when not in use.

  34. Agnes Regina

    Our spot for family prayers is the library, where on the mantelpiece stands the Madonna of Montserrat who was Mom and Dad’s wedding present, several smaller statues (all of Our Lady, amusingly enough), and at least one candle usually. I never thought of having a closet space set aside for that, but it’s kind of a neat idea, like a little home chapel.

  35. Lucy

    We have our main altar area in our dining area (on the eastern wall). Since that’s where our kitchen is too, and where all the main “family happenings” occur, it works as our family prayer spot. We have most of our icons there (although they’re spread around the house, too), a candle we light during prayer times, and other holy items. I’m in the process of setting up an altar in each of the kids’ rooms. There they will have their icons, a candle (to be lit with adult supervision, of course!), their Bible and their prayer books. I have a spot in my room, too, although I generally say most of my prayers in the kitchen. I also keep an icon of Jesus by my sink which helps me to pray while I’m washing dishes or cooking.

    Personally, I like having our altar in a public place because it helps to remind us that Christ is in all parts of our lives. Through our icons, our windows to heaven, we are reminded always of the cloud of witnesses who surround us, as well as giving us opportunities to ask the saints for their intercession. My family is Eastern Orthodox so we love icons and have lots of them! But I also like having spots for more private (and often more spontaneous) prayer throughout the day. Sometimes you really do need to step away from everything for a minute!

  36. Anonymous

    When we enthroned our family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we hung our Sacred Heart picture on the wall above a low dresser, next to the matching Immaculate Heart of Mary. We have our wedding bouquet in a vase, a family Bible, a “St. Joseph” candle (the kind you get in the ethnic food section of a grocery store), and a relic. In the dresser drawers we keep other sacramentals (holy cards, rosaries, baptismal candles, blessed chalk, holy water, etc) and our family pictures. We had other “stuff” stored in this space before, but we cleared it out to make room for something more important. You could do this with a short bookshelf: keeping Bibles and prayer books and adding sacramentals in boxes or baskets on the shelves; hang pictures/icons above it; statues and candles on the top (out of reach of little hands). God bless!

  37. Melanie B

    I’ve wanted to have a dedicated prayer space in my home since before we were married. Last year I finally got a prie-dieu (aka kneeler) for free (I blogged about it here.)

    I’ve put it in a corner of the living room because that’s literally the only place in the house where it fits. Coincidentally it is on the east wall so kneeling on it one would be facing east.

    On the top I’ve put a small crucifix and a bunch of holy cards and on the shelf I’ve put a few rosary books and other small pamphlet sized books as well as a rosary or two. (All these objects have a tendency to wander when the toddler gets into them.)

    I’d like to somehow set up a shelf in front of the kneeler, right now it’s underneath a print of Mary Magdalene by Georges de la Tour, so on which I can put a statue of Mary, candles, a few icons and holy cards with relics. But I haven’t worked out the logistics of that yet.

    It all sounded so nice in theory and I love looking at it but I think I’ve actually knelt there to pray maybe twice since we moved in in November. Though Bella, our almost-three year old, does kneel there a bit more often to say a Hail Mary or just to look at all the cards. It’s a rather inaccessible corner because of the tight space and one has to almost climb over furniture to get at it.

    When I pray it’s usually sitting in my bed, where I can look at a crucifix, a small icon of the Theotokos my sister brought me from Greece and a few other prints of the Madonna and Child. Or else in my easy chair in the living room, which is actually next to the prie-dieu.

    I often feel guilty for not using my kneeler which I wanted for so long. But it is, as some commenters have noticed, a reminder to pray even if I don’t use it. And I am glad that it extends an invitation which my daughter is inclined to accept. Even if I don’t use it much, perhaps it’s real purpose is to be a sign of the importance of setting aside space for prayer, space for God.

    I’ve also tried to hang my collection of crucifixes and religious art in such a way that no matter where I are in the house I’m confronted with Jesus and Mary and the saints. There’s a crucifix in every room but the bathroom and two or more in some rooms. Lots of images of Mary, including quite a few postcards I got at various places in Europe and have put into nice frames. It’s amazing how surrounded by all these reminders I can still shut out God and forget to pray and lose my temper. I’m definitely a work in progress. The way I see it I need all the reminders I can get.

  38. Ouiz

    My dh made a prie-Dieu for us and we placed it (believe it or not) in the playroom in the back of the house. It was the only place where we had space, and it was where we all gathered to pray in the evenings.

    We have a small statue of Jesus, rosaries, holy cards, Bibles, and the Liturgy of the Hours there.

    That said, we also are a “crucifix in every bedroom” family… and we have a statue of Mary in the front of the house… and I have an icon of the Madonna and child on the window ledge over my sink.

    I LOVE the idea of having a “prayer closet” in the laundry room, since I’m there an awful lot anyway! For now, I have to make due with our statue of Jesus outside the laundry room window in our tiny little garden. It’s funny, because oftentimes I’ll go in there grumbling about the ridiculous mountain of laundry in there, and then I lift up the shade and say, “oh. Good morning, Lord.” Hard to keep grumbling when He’s looking at me through the window! *laugh*

    It helps to have little reminders everywhere…

  39. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience

    This post beats my heart…

    Our “room” for prayer (as you can see from the photos) is right in the thick of it, Jen — because we are trying to make a one-piece life … All things are prayer. So prayer is at the center.

    And yes, having a physical place to bow low before God really changes everything… me.

    I look forward to reading of how you carve out a soul space in your home, Jen! He’ll show the way…

    (and I too downloaded the song and am singing with you!)

  40. Anonymous

    This gives me an idea to put a prayer corner into a bookshelf I was going to build anyway for my bedroom. At the bottom could be a drawer that pulls out and turns into a kneeler, and when you open the doors the shelf with your Bible and things are would be just at the right height to lean on and read. It would also be cozy and private because you’d be kneeling between the opened doors.

    For now, I have an upright chair in the corner of my bedroom next to a bookshelf, and a small end table with a reading lamp. That’s where I do all my reading, thinking, and praying.

  41. Taru

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  42. Charlotte

    Bender–I’m sort of with you on this one. I think if I were to have a specified prayer closet, corner, etc., that I might not notice as much those times of prayer and worship that happen throughout our ordinary, every day, moment by moment, quotidian days–regardless of where I am or what I’m doing or who I’m with.

  43. Charlotte

    “all things are prayer.”

    Ann–yes–I think that is what I was trying to say.

  44. Jennifer @ Conversion Diary

    Thank you for all the great comments!

    And I just had to pop in to say…

    Well, first, you need to make sure the 3 foot tall bunny goes in there, so the kids will want to go in…

    …That is hilarious.

  45. Lisa

    We have a niche that had built-in shelves in it for books. We took out the shelves and put in a large statue of Our Lady. But the top of a bookshelf anywhere works beautifully, so long as it’s out of “traffic.” A whole closet would be lovely for the ability to close the door, but I expect most of us need every inch of closet we have…

  46. Jenn Calling Home

    Family prayer happens around a big square coffee table in the living room. No decorations or anything…but a Bible nearby for sharing a verse or two.

  47. Courageous Grace

    Thank you for the idea, Jen. I have been trying to figure out what to do in our house (we moved in October). I still don’t have all the painting done, and the furniture is not where I want it yet, but I was thinking of making the East wall of my living room a prayer space. Perhaps a small table with some icons, a shelf underneath for prayer books and devotionals, and a crucifix on the wall. I also think it might be a good idea to get a couple of “flameless” candles or the kind that use a nightlight bulb (I’ve got a few “flicker” bulbs) since I have a toddler running around and, God willing, more to come in the future. Much to think about.

  48. Mary DeTurris Poust

    I have a prayer space within my office space within my basement. I love having it there, and it has made a huge difference for me, although I am unable to close it off from the rest of the room. Hence, the Foosball table juts into my space on one side and a treadmill on the other, but for now it will have to do. I have bookshelves with all my prayer books and spiritual reading, special religious items and icons from all different places, incense, a battery powered candle (so I don’t burn down the house), and a forged metal cross (made by a friend) in the center. It calls to me and calms me. I would like to create a space that is more family friendly and more centrally located, but, as you mentioned in your post, I have to let that happen in its own time or I’ll just become obsessed with it and leave the actual praying by the wayside.

  49. firstcomeslove

    I have my favorite chair in front of our fireplace where I sit and read, pray and journal each morning (well most mornings)before the kiddos wake up. After taking down the Christmas stockings in January I felt compelled to remove everything from the mantel except a crucifix. I have to say that this post is inspiring and has planted a seed. In God’s timing I want one of those prayer closets. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Katie

    Beautiful, I love this! I really want a prayer space, but our home is so small, and there are little hands everywhere! I’ve never though of using a closet! Our bedroom closet is very large (actually two closets right next to each other with shared sliding doors). This might actually work for me!

  51. LIz

    I recently set up a prayer area in our dining room. We already had a long skinny table with 2 benches under (what do you call those?) against the wall. I searched for some inspiration on Pinterest and then set up some favorite icons, candles, statues, our big family Bible, which I stood up in a clear acrylic cookbook stand which I had stored away, and a smaller Bible to use for prayer. I love having it in the dining room because it can feel like a small space, up close to that table, and it can also be a gathering place for the whole family to sit around the table and say a rosary, with those images present. Here is my pinterest inspiration, and I am adding a photo of my dining room area too:


  1. Why did Jesus have to die for our sins? | Conversion Diary - [...] Speaking of Steve G., I am delighted to share this guest post that he wrote. Click here to see…

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