I'm endlessly fascinated by people's personal spaces - how the people I know create places they connect and recharge in. I'm also fascinated by the combination of routine and spontaneity in people's daily world. And I'm fascinated even more so by God.
So it makes sense that these prayer places captured below – the God time spaces of people in my world – endear me to explore them. Here are four prayer places and the people in them that I've captured this week. I hope that you too will enjoy and learn from the ways they connect with their life's love.
Gerald (age 92)
Prayer Routine: I wake up, feed the cat, and sit down here around 9am. I read - praying "guide me O the great Jehovah, guide me in this barren land ... give me one or two names that I can help today". Afterwards around 10am, I visit Highlands [the rest home residence next door], praying for people – the sick, and attending funerals and spending time with people after funerals and blessing people'shousesand units to protect them from evil forces. I read Psalm 21, "I lift my eyes to the hills ..." At night I write my diary - what I did, what I ate. I'm up again at 12 for a midnight snack;)
Location: Lounge room, Howick, NZ
Time: 9.00am daily
Accessories:Favourite chair, cup of English Breakfast tea, Bible, devotional booklets.
Currently Reading:In Touch (a devotional published in America); Scripture Union - Encounter with God (published in England); The Word for Today (published in New Zealand).
Ryan (age 28)
Prayer routine: I often have my closest connections with God in nature. On adventures with the Lord - spontaneously; walking with Him; dreaming with Him. I sit there and write in my diary and ponder on the world. I pray for creative ideas, I pray for my wife, my family ... This place - Herdsman Lake – it's got to be one of my favourite places in the world.
Location: Herdsman Lake, Perth, Australia
Time: Often on Saturdays, or in the afternoon after work
Accessories: Bicycle, backpack, Bible, any other book I'm currently reading, and Samsung phone diary to journal in OneNote.
Currently Reading: The Bible
Warwick (age 58)
Prayer routine: My prayer routine involvesbreathing in & out while using meditative prayer for issues or people. I use two degrees of meditative prayer. One degree is praying for somebody meditatively. The other degree is in using meditative prayer after reading and talking to people extensively on a subject, to then discover the truth in it for me personally and practically. As author ThomasMertondescribes, praying meditatively feels like 'sky hooks' ... you get inspiration in a more sudden way – you receive clarity. Itenlargesand contextualises what I am reading in a spiritually inspiring way. I follow my prayer routine with an ocean swim at Swann Beach, or a walk, or breakfast.
Location: Lounge room, Stanmore Bay, NZ
Time: 6.45am daily
Accessories: Mug of hot water, iPad, e-book.
CurrentlyReading: Jesus the Teacher Within by Laurence Freeman
Andrew (age 36)
Prayer routine: I always start with ACTS – an acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Shopping List prayers. I have my own other prayers too, and I finish with Our Father [Lord's Prayer]. I always have my hands in the air for that prayer.
The length I pray changes – it may be five minutes, or may be half an hour. I try to prioritise it regardless of what's going on. Even if I'm running late there will always be a prayer – at least ACTS and Our Father. I pray out loud, and on my knees. For me it's about letting God know that He comes first. I trust Him. I respect Him.
Location: My bedroom or our new house community prayer corner.
Time: 7am daily
Accessories: Speakers – sometimes playing my music, and often playing an audio Bible chapter before I get out of bed to shower, dress, and then pray.
Currently Reading: Romans. I stay on one chapter, and then sometimes throw a random one in there.
With thanks to the people close to me featured here - Gerald, Ryan, Warwick, and Andrew. Your spiritual disciplines and spontaneities are an inspiration.
Janetta Hayden is a Social Anthropology and Visual Arts graduate from New Zealand, based in Perth with her Design Engineer husband Ryan. Janetta works as Filmmaker and Story Director for The Story Culture @thestoryculture www.thestoryculture.com
Janetta Hayden's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/janetta-hayden.html