Sacred Space at Home
September 30, 2013
Updated February 23, 2021
4 comments 134 views
I like the liturgical calendar. I think the idea of a year-round pattern for worship used by believers throughout the world is cool. And, just to be more childlike about it, I like the colors. For years now I’ve had this thought that I’d like to create a space in my home for worship and prayer. I’d like to use those liturgical colors to remind myself of what season we are in. I’ve read a few things lately, too, about prayer candles and prayer boxes. Those sound like good items to include in this “home worship space,” or “sacred space” within my home.
I was thinking I could set up a space with something that is the liturgical season color, a simple candle, and a box for prayers. I read something lately written by a woman who lights a candle to help her remember each time she passes by it whatever special thing she is praying for that day. It might be a sick friend, it might be a prayer of thanks, a need or request. I like the idea of using the candle as a reminder for prayer in that way.
The prayer box is another thing I’ve read different people talk about. People put physical renditions of their prayers into the box, such as scraps of paper with the prayers written on them. Some have themes of prayers they put into the box—just their prayers of thanks, for example. I like the intentionality of writing down my prayers and keeping them somewhere. I wonder what method works well. Do you take the written prayers out periodically and re-read them? Do you clear them out as prayer is answered, or after a certain time?
I haven’t figured out the practicalities of making a sacred space happen in my home. Have any of you? At our church we have simple banners and table covers for the liturgical colors. Should I make a shelf and make a covering for the different colors? Should I use my coffee table? I have a new, beautiful, handmade wood table in the hallway. Would that be a good surface to use? Maybe my fireplace mantel? Should I set this space up in my bedroom, or a more public area?
My fireplace is in our family room, where we spend the most time so maybe that’s the best place. Or maybe not—maybe by being somewhere I see it all the time, it’d become so familiar I’d stop seeing it. But in the hallway I might not pass it very often. And in my bedroom I’d only see it in the morning and at night. And the coffee table gets used often when we have people over.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a sacred space? Or a prayer candle or prayer box? How do you use it? What have you found to be the best methods for making your sacred space and time meaningful?
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I've never thought of creating a sacred place in my home or of using liturgical colours and the liturgical calendar. Like you I have many questions about how that might work in my home. I think any place where you can creatively show that this is a sacred space and where you can see it when you have your devotions would be a good thing. I sometimes write my prayers in a journal so that they form part of what I am thinking etc. When I went through a difficult time years back, I put the prayers and scriptures in a special journal so that I could easily recount them. Don't know if that helps or not.
I like hearing your thoughtful questions about the process of creating sacred space, Mavis. The questions you asked yourself made me see my own, personal sacred space with new eyes. My first observation is my answer to your question about location:
My sacred space is in my bedroom, because we have a small home, and my teenagers are still in the house, so I don't have other places that offer complete privacy. If you also value privacy for your time in the sacred space (for meditation, prayer, etc.), that might be a factor in your choice of location.
I love Psalm 91:1 NKJV Those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Elyon)... I have shared this concept of the secret place with others, and it often resonates.. I will encourage them to imagine their secret place, ie imagine a fort like you made as little child, or what often resonates for women is a secret garden, for some it might be a hay barn, or the woods, or the hills, it is whatever is meaningful and safe for you and Jesus.
I had the privilege of sharing this concept last week with a women's bible study at the local Christian Health Care center, and the day before I was there, I was getting some ideas for flowers for church that week and was at a home and garden store and came across this precious sign... it was 2 little girls in bare feet and sweet little dresses, running down a path toward a walled, enclosed garden... and the sign said "Secret Garden ahead"... what it says to me, is that we run to meet with Jesus in our "secret" place, whatever that might look like for each of us... that sign is now hanging over my desk, one of the areas I meet with Jesus, and spend time in His Word.
I had already planned on sharing on Psalm 91:1 and the secret place, and so this literal "sign" was a wonderful confirmation on sharing that message. The LORD also confirmed that message through one of the health care workers that sat in on the study with us.
I personally love the Secret Garden image, it also reminds me of Song of Songs 4:12-5:1, and if we are open to this book of the Bible being an allegory between Jesus and His Bride, us, His Church, it expands on this concept of the garden.
Thanks, Angela, Michelle, and Bev! Great input.
Bev, writing a prayer journal is definitely another good method for being more intentional about your prayer life. I actually heard a story from a friend who, when going through her elderly mother's things after her mother's death, discovered a bunch of "Daily Bread" devotional booklets where her mother had written prayer notes in the margins. My friend said there were penciled in names of the family and her mother's friends and so on, showing she had prayed for them by name for years and years. How sweet that is, isn't it?
And Michelle, good point about privacy. I had not really thought of that factor. I'm curious, too, about your space. If you're willing, would you describe what you have in your space and what your practice is for using it?
Bev, I love that image of the girls running to their "secret garden." The book, The Secret Garden, was (and is) such a favorite of mine, that image really resonates with me, too. I like the connection you make to the different verses and Scriptural references to gardens.
Thanks, and keep the comments coming!
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