How to Pray When You Live in a Small Space


Space plays an important role when you are working on your prayer life. A friend of mine has a chapel in her garage. Another friend has a small corner in his room with a chair and a table with an icon on it. Wherever you live, your space will impact your prayer time.

My family is a classic example. We have four kids in a three bedroom home. Depending on the day, it can be pretty tight. With that said, I am very (read, very) fortunate to have an office in my basement that is rarely used by anyone else. I can retreat there for a morning quiet time and it’s been a blessing for many years. I’ve placed some religious art on the walls so that when I open my eyes, my mind and heart are jogged by religious imagery.

Not everyone has that. You might be in an apartment where space is tight. Or, you might be sharing a room with someone and half your space isn’t really “yours”. Maybe you have plenty of room but it doesn’t feel conducive to prayer.

So what can you do? Here are four suggestions:

1.  Carve out a prayer corner. One of the most holy men I know uses this technique. He has a chair, a small table and some religious items on the table. This is his sacred space each morning for an hour or more. You don’t need a lot of space with this approach.

2.  Transform a space that’s used for something else. Think: kitchen table. Your table is obviously used for meals but once a day, you could transform this into a spot for prayer. All you would need is a candle or small icon and your Bible. You could then make this your prayer spot. When you finish, simply return your tools to another spot and the table is ready for its next meal!

3.  Pray outside. If you absolutely cannot find a quiet spot in your home, you can pray in an outdoor space, weather permitting. A side porch or back deck is perfect for this. Typically, these kinds of spaces provide some background noise (but not too much) and the beauty of nature.

4.  Pray during exercise. If options 1-3 don’t work for you, get moving and use your fitness for prayer. While this isn’t relaxing, it will provide you with a focused means of prayer. I know many people who pray the Rosary while they walk and it works well for them.

The key in all of this is to pray regularly. By paying attention to your space, your prayer life will benefit.