Where is the most unlikely place you have prayed? I mean, of course, 1 Thessalonians 5:16 tells us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.”
But you have to admit, there are some questionable places we find ourselves praying. I have traveled around the world and recently, I pulled out an old journal and laughed at some of the places I prayed: train stations, basilicas, mountains, and deserts. Then there are the places where I did not take my journal to pray but have had some of my greatest moments of prayer in my life.
Unlikely Places I Have Prayed
So sisters, keep a tally and see if you have prayed in some or all the places I have prayed, and feel free to add to the list in the comments!
On the Toilet
I know I am not alone in this because I took a pole, and what did it reveal? That 100% of moms pray on the toilet because it is one of the few places they have a moment of silence to themselves. Some have even admitted to reading a Blessed is She daily devotional on their throne (you know who you are, and we are not judging).
I know sisters who have intestinal issues diseases and they offer up their pain praying on “Les toilette” (it just sounds better in French). The point is, if there is something you need to let go of and surrender to the Lord, there might be no better place than the bathroom.
In the Shower/Bathtub
My mom always told me the best place to cry and pray is in the shower and she was 100% correct. Did you hear that, Mom? I said you were correct. Consider this an early Mother’s Day card for the world to see.
There is something about being vulnerable with God while you are lathered in soapy suds and washing all your cares away. Most of my days start with a shower, so I start by praying the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today, let us begin.” Then I give God permission to set my day in motion.
When I used to be able to go to the gym, I would have a specific worship playlist to keep me motivated to take care of the body God gave me. Now, I am thankful for silence on a walk in my neighborhood so I can do an examen of my day.
However, when I did go to a gym, there were numerous reasons I would pray! Sometimes, I was praying for the chastity of the eyes, while other times I was praying for some women to put on more clothing.
Sometimes I pray a Rosary during a brisk walk (I refuse to run unless an ostrich is running after me) in the neighborhood or on the beach, and lately, I have been listening to Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Bible in a Year Podcast. But if I’m being honest, sometimes I just pray to God that I complete the abdominal portion of my workout (who’s with me on this?).
Back when I used to travel, I loved praying in the airport. I would pray for and with mommas about to board a plane by themselves and even offer to help them get on board (mommas always need more hands when they have kids). I would pray for the people I would be sitting next to on the flight, hoping that God would provide an opportunity for me to sit next to my future spouse or, at the very least, someone who needed to know the love of God. And I would always pray for the people who worked at the airport from the janitors (thank them if you see them cleaning up the bathrooms or emptying the trashcans), to the air traffic controllers, to the flight attendants, and the pilots.
I rarely put my headphones on till the lights went out on the plane in case the Lord pointed out someone to pray with or for while I was flying through the sky.
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This might seem normal to most, but how I like to pray is a bit different. I love to look at the headstones and pray for all the people who have passed on, specifically in case they are a soul still in Purgatory.
Of course, I pray for the loved ones I am visiting, but I also pray for the souls of people I will only meet on the other side and for their families who mourn their passing from this world.
Walking the Dog
Little do my neighbors know, but when I walk my dog, I pray for all of them by name as I pass their home. Give it a try the next time you are walking your dog or potbelly pig or even just going for a walk in the neighborhood.
I also will do a quick examen of my day when I’m walking my dog, reflecting on five things:
- I start by asking God for light,
- then I give thanks to God for all He has allowed in my day (good or bad),
- then I review the day thus far,
- face all my shortcomings,
- and then look ahead at how I can do differently.
It is great to do mid-day, at the end of the day, or whenever God gives you five to ten minutes of silence.
In My Car
I have to admit that I’m typically praying for the person who just cut me off on the freeway, but I also pray a lot on my commute to and from work. I talk out loud to God in my car, I sing praise and worship in my car, I call friends at random who God prompts me to call and pray with them or ask them what they need prayer for in my car. I pray in Los Angeles for all the homeless on the streets which breaks my heart for what breaks God’s heart daily. I probably pray more in my car than I do in a church on a given week.
With a Waitress or Waiter in a Restaurant
Want to give your waiter or waitress something even better than a tip? Ask them if they want to pray grace with you the next time you go out to dinner. I used to do this with my Core Team when I was a youth minister and got two new Core Members because of this. Some people even came back to the Church! The worst thing they can say is “No, I don’t want to.” The best thing they can say is, “Sure!” Then you pray for them and for the kitchen staff who made your meal and brought it to you. It is a great way to give a tip that they will remember longer than the financial one you leave behind.
You name the place and I’m praying: the grocery store, Starbucks, Disneyland, a restaurant, or Hobby Lobby. You can pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet while you wait or pray for the people in front of you or bagging your groceries. Rather than read the headlines in the latest gossip magazine, take a moment to offer a prayer of praise.
If you have Discovery+ you have to watch the Lost Kitchen (you will thank me for this binge-watch). I feel like a kindred spirit to Erin and get emotional watching it because it speaks to my soul. I love cooking and find it to be a spiritual experience to add ingredients, cut the produce, and smell the garlic in the air mixed with pure olive oil or butter (the best thing God has created, next to humans, in my opinion). I pray when I cook in a way I don’t any other time of the day. I pray for the ranchers and fisherman, I pray for the gardeners who grew and picked the produce, I pray for my family and friends who will gather around the table to eat what God helped me create.
I know cooking for yourself or your family can be a chore but think of it as a spiritual, co-creation moment with God when you are blending all He has provided into something that will satisfy the bodies He created until we are fully satisfied at the Heavenly banquet.
Cleaning the House
I love cleaning, especially vacuuming the floor and getting those perfect lines on my OCD carpet (such satisfaction, sisters). And when I clean, I often pray about the things that spiritually need a clean-up. I run through a mental Examination of Conscience and contemplate how I need to reconcile with the Lord in my next confession. This simple practice allows me to run to the Father more often than I used to seek His mercy.
Give it a try the next time you are scrubbing your toilet or when you are dusting the baby fingerprints off your flat-screen television (great examination on what you have watched and how you might want to confess your latest binge viewing to Padre).
God Will Meet Us There
So, as you can see, there are a lot of places we can pray that might seem out of the ordinary. Of course, we pray on gorgeous beaches during sunset, on mountaintops during a retreat, and in churches and chapels, but God desires us to pray unceasingly. These are just a few ways I have allowed prayer to fill my days and nights. I would love to hear some of your unusual places you have prayed and how you incorporate prayer in your daily life in the comments!
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