Midweek Ministry: Curating Prayer Spaces Part 5
This week is pretty timely because my big two prayer rooms are this weekend! I’m almost done with my personal one as well, which is pretty exciting. I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. As I am setting up, I figured it would be cool to share some insights on actually setting up the prayer room.
1) Pre-Set Up
It’s best to go see the room or have a picture of the room ahead of time, specifically noting the entrances and exits. This is especially important for the flow of traffic is you have a room that is a hybrid with stations and a center space so that each participant can maneuver without interrupting anyone’s need. Make a map.
Pack away each station in their own bin and labeled for easy set up (this especially helpful if you have a team or will be dropping the items off for someone else to set up).
Make a list of everything and where everything will likely go. This will also help with your shopping or pulling needs. I start with what I own first (I have a theatre/creative background so there are many props, etc, I have access to) then see what is needed to buy. I go to everywhere from thrift store, the Habitat for Humanity Store, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, bookstores, Amazon and Etsy. I also have a couple artist friends like Darci Jaret with Art in the Image I bounce ideas off of and ask for things like cloth and supplies.
I like to set up the tables ahead of time at home and take a picture of them to see what they might still be missing. This way I can just adjust when I get to the set up phase if there need be.
2) Set Up
This can be done in one of two ways. Have the team come pray in the room, then bring things in. I actually prefer to bring the group in with all the items first, then pray before setting up. I think having a small group of people to assist in the set up can build camaraderie and bonding, as well as teach others about the prayer space.
After praying, set up the center (the G-d space) first. If this room will have no stations, place whatever will go in the very center first. I often will place a rug, a scarf or a small table cloth on the floor as a foundation, then build from there.
I like to set up each station one by one, or give the task to the team to set up a specific one. Each starts with the table clothes then layers up from there. Always foundation, then place things on the table.
A note about lighting: Prayer spaces tend to have low or dimer light (not dark, just dim). If there isn’t a dimmer, candles can help with this.
After setting everything up, you be the first one to use the prayer room. Sit in the center space and pray. If you have stations, walk through each element so you can feel if something might be missing (bibles, tissues, etc).