Sacred Spaces: Prayer Closet or Prayer Garden? Find Your Perfect Spot!

Choosing Your Sacred Space: Prayer Closet vs Prayer Garden

Pastor Duke Taber

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Finding the perfect spot for prayer can make a world of difference in your spiritual life. Whether it’s a cozy prayer closet or a serene prayer garden, each space offers unique benefits that cater to different needs and preferences.

In a prayer closet, you can create an intimate, distraction-free environment. It’s where you can focus solely on connecting with God, surrounded by items that inspire and uplift you. On the other hand, a prayer garden immerses you in the beauty of nature, allowing you to feel God’s presence in every breeze and bloom.

Choosing Your Sacred Space: Prayer Closet vs Prayer Garden

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Prayer Closet Explained

Definition and Origin

A prayer closet is a personal space used for solitary prayer and devotion. Its concept originates from the Bible. In Matthew 6:6 (NKJV), it says, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place.” This verse emphasizes the importance of a private place for prayer.

Common Features of a Prayer Closet

A prayer closet often includes:

  • Quiet Environment: Helps to minimize distractions.
  • Comfortable Seating: Could be a bench, chair, or cushion.
  • Spiritual Items: Bibles, prayer journals, and devotionals.
  • Dim Lighting: Creates a calm atmosphere.
  • Decor: Items like candles, which can be remote-controlled, and personal mementos.

I set mine up with a bench, thrift store end table, and a hanging lamp. I added a throw pillow from my sofa and a small rug. This setup makes it cozy and inviting. I keep my Bible and journal within reach, ensuring focus on prayer and reflection.

Prayer Garden Overview

What is a Prayer Garden?

A prayer garden provides a serene outdoor space for connecting with God. Monks first established these gardens around monasteries for meditation. Today, modern believers continue this tradition to seek peace and clarity. A prayer garden allows for reflection surrounded by the beauty of nature. This practice aligns with the verse, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place” (Matthew 6:6, NKJV), except it moves this sacred activity outdoors.

Key Elements in a Prayer Garden

Key elements in a prayer garden enhance its spiritual ambiance. Essential components include:

  • Statues: Incorporate religious icons like a statue of the Virgin Mary.
  • Plants and Flowers: Use blooms and shrubs symbolizing faith and renewal.
  • Seating: Provide benches or chairs for quiet reflection.
  • Water Features: Add fountains or ponds to create calming sounds.
  • Pathways: Create walking paths for meditative strolls.
  • Lighting: Use soft lighting for evening prayers.

Each of these elements fosters a space where one can meditate and pray. Surrounding oneself with nature’s tranquility helps deepen your spiritual connection.

Comparing Prayer Closet and Prayer Garden

Similarities Between Prayer Closets and Gardens

Both spaces create a dedicated area for prayer. They encourage a quiet, undisturbed environment. Custom decorations, like candles or scripture, promote a spiritual atmosphere.

  • Focused on Solitude: Both provide a private area for prayer.
  • Personalized Touches: Users often personalize spaces with meaningful items.
  • Encourage Daily Use: Both inspire daily or regular prayer sessions.

Differences and Unique Benefits

Location: Prayer closets are indoors, while prayer gardens are outdoors. Prayer gardens let you connect with nature. Prayer closets offer a controlled environment.

Accessibility: A prayer closet is accessible at any time, regardless of weather. On the other hand, a prayer garden requires good weather to be comfortable.

Setup Time: A prayer garden takes more time to set up with plants and pathways. A prayer closet can be established quickly with furniture and decor.

AspectPrayer ClosetPrayer Garden
LocationIndoorsOutdoors
EnvironmentControlledNatural
AccessibilityAlwaysWeather-dependent
Setup TimeQuickTime-consuming

Prayer closets and gardens each have unique perks. Prayer closets provide shelter and consistency. Prayer gardens offer an immersive natural experience. Choosing between them depends on personal preference and living situation.

Quoting Acts 9:11 (NKJV), “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.” This highlights the importance of dedicated prayer spaces, whether indoor or outdoor.

Choosing Between a Prayer Closet and Prayer Garden

Factors to Consider

Accessibility
Prayer closets are indoors, making them accessible anytime. Prayer gardens, being outdoors, depend on the weather.

Environment Control
A prayer closet provides a controlled environment. There are no bugs, rain, or wind. A garden connects you with nature, offering fresh air and natural sounds.

Setup Time
Garden spaces need more setup and maintenance. Prayer closets require less preparation and upkeep.

Privacy
Closets offer privacy and minimal distractions. Gardens might have outside noises or neighbors.

Space Constraints
Indoor spaces might be limited in size. Gardens can be expansive if you have the area.

Personalizing Your Prayer Space

Prayer Closet Personalization

  • Decor: Add wall-mounted candles, photos, and scripture passages like “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, NKJV).
  • Furniture: Use a comfy chair or an old piano bench.
  • Lighting: Install a hanging lamp. I love mine from Amazon, especially with the inline switch.
  • Seating: Place a bench or a chair where you can sit comfortably.
  • Plants: Include succulents, flowers, and trees.
  • Features: Add water features like a small fountain. Pathways can guide your steps.
  • Lighting: Use solar lights for an evening prayer session.

Both spaces offer unique benefits for prayer and reflection. Choose based on your needs and preferences.

Conclusion

Choosing between a prayer closet and a prayer garden eventually comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. Both spaces offer unique environments that can enrich your prayer experience. Whether you prefer the controlled, private setting of an indoor prayer closet or the natural, serene atmosphere of an outdoor prayer garden, each option has its own set of benefits. What matters most is creating a space that resonates with you and enhances your spiritual practice. Take the time to consider what elements are most important for your prayer routine and choose the space that best supports your journey.


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