How a change of scenery can enhance your prayer life.
Posted in , Nov 11, 2014
The Bible describes Jesus frequently withdrawing to “lonely” or “solitary” places to pray (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16).
Surely He could have prayed at home or in the synagogue, right? He was Jesus, after all. You’d think He could have prayed anywhere. And He probably did, but He also probably knew a little more about prayer than most of us do. Maybe this:
A change of scenery can enhance your prayer life.
I’ve certainly found this to be the case. In fact, I have often found new energy and sweetness in prayer in one of these seven cool and inviting places to pray:
“Well, of course,” you might say. But I mean empty (or largely empty) churches. Many churches (particularly in urban areas) open their doors for prayer during the week. Some even have tiny chapels set aside for private prayer.
Maybe this is too obvious, but among my favorite places to pray are the trails and benches in the municipal and state parks near where I live.
Sure, some cemeteries are depressing places. But many are breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring. Whether you walk the grounds or rest on a bench, praying in a cemetery can underscore the shortness of this life and the imminence of eternity like few other places.
4. Hotels and Airports
Did you know that many airports have interfaith chapels for prayer and meditation? So do most hospitals. I’ve prayed often in these quiet, usually out-of-the-way spots, and have seldom (if ever) encountered anyone else there.
Is there a botanical garden or arboretum near your home? You might be surprised; there are probably more than you think. Some charge an admission fee, but many are free to enjoy. And they make great places to pray.
6. Outdoors at Night
Have you ever prayed while lying on your back in a field (or your back yard) while gazing up at the stars? It is a memorable and beautiful way, as Wendell Berry said, to “coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.”
Have you prayed in any of these places? Have you tried other prayer places? What was your experience like?