Preparing a space for a meditative prayer


When possible, it is preferable to meet in a church, making it beautiful and welcoming. The way the space is arranged is important for the quality of the prayer. Naturally it is not necessary to do a complete restoration of the church! Very simple means can be used to create a prayerful atmosphere. If it is not possible to meet in a church, it is important to make the prayer-space as harmonious as you can.

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It is preferable for all the participants to face the same direction during the prayer, as a way of expressing that we pray not to one another but to Christ.

A place of prayer can be made welcoming with very little: a cross, an open Bible, some candles, icons, and flowers. The lighting should be subdued, not glaring. Put a carpet in the center for those who wish to pray while kneeling or sitting on the ground; chairs or benches should also be available around the edges for those who prefer to sit on them.

It is helpful to welcome people as they enter, giving them the song-sheet and inviting them to come forward.

Leading the prayer is a service to others. It entails preparing the prayer and making sure it goes forward in a way that allows everyone to remain focused on the essential, with no distractions. Once the prayer has begun, there should be no technical announcements or explanations that interrupt the flow.

Last updated: 5 March 2003

“The desire for communion with God has been set within the human heart since the dawn of time. The mystery of that communion touches what is most intimate in us, reaching down to the very depths of our being.”

To the wellsprings of joy: Letter for 2004