Prayer is arguably one of the most valuable spiritual disciplines there is. A prayer altar gives you the opportunity to magnify it.
What is a Christian prayer altar? A Christian prayer altar is a place that you dedicate to coming to the Father in prayer. By creating for a prayer altar you are choosing to make a specific space in your life dedicated to approaching the Father in prayer. A prayer altar goes beyond just a physical location, it is the way you live your life.
This concept has been on my mind for quite some time now and is something I am looking forward to applying in my own life. I hope you will apply what you learn about prayer altars to your life as well.
What is an Altar?
In the Bible, altars were used in sacrifices for the atonement of sin, and also to commemorate a meeting with God. For example, in Genesis 12, God meets with Abraham and promises to bless him. In remembrance of this encounter, Abraham built an altar to the Lord.
A prayer altar is a place where we meet with God in prayer.
It is a place where we can remember all that he has done for us and receive forgiveness for our sins. It is a place we can interact with God through the Holy Spirit, and lift ourselves up as a living sacrifice.
What Does it Look Like to Have a Prayer Altar?
All prayer altars need to start with commitment. The fruitfulness of this practice is a reflection of how much time and energy you give it. To cultivate a fruitful prayer altar, you need to consider the place and your attitude.
There is something powerful about establishing a specific place of prayer. By doing this you are creating a space specifically to enter into the presence of God.
It should be a place away from people, away from distractions, and designated only for prayer.
When you enter into this space, you are committing to be with the Lord, in prayer, meditation, silence, or worship. In that place, you leave everything at the door to spend time with your Heavenly Father.
Sometimes developing this place requires sacrifice. You may need to give up that closet, or what you stored inside it. However, the reward of setting aside this secret place to be with the Lord is far greater than any material thing.
Attitude is perhaps even more important than the place. If you come into your place of prayer with a calloused heart, your time there will not be fruitful.
Part of having a prayer altar includes an attitude of intentionality. Having a prayer altar is more than just praying or having a special place to pray.
It is being intentional about spending quality time in that space, physically and spiritually.
In doing this, you are participating in an act of worship. By going into that place you are able to present yourself to God and offer up your life to him each and every day.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Romans 12:1 ESV
When you have made that commitment, to go to your secret place with a humble heart, ready to hear from God. Be in the Word, or sit in silence. Listen for his voice, and wait for him to meet you there.
How to Set Up A Prayer Altar
To set up a prayer altar in your home, find a place you can go with no distractions. This may be a closet, or a spare room. Whatever you have. If there is anything in that space already – clear it out. Again, eliminate any distractions.
You will want your journal and Bible with you when you are ready to begin. Some people like to post their prayers on the walls and relocate them as they see God answering. You can also post Scriptures you are meditating on.
At the end of the day though, no matter what you do, that is a space for you to be with God. Don’t allow it to get neglected and be intentional with it.
What Does the Bible Say About Prayer Altars?
Jesus spoke on several occasions about prayer and led by example throughout his lifetime. One of the things he emphasized was not to make a show out of your prayer life, but instead to pray in secret.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.Matthew 6:6 ESV
I am not implying that you can’t pray when other people are present, there is strength in praying together. However, if you are struggling with showing off your faith for attention, this may be a practice you need to adopt in your life.
Even if this is not a struggle for you it is still good to spend time alone with the Lord. Even Jesus, the Son of God, needed to take time alone to be with his Father. He set the example by rising early to get away from his disciples and be alone with God.
If even the Messiah needed to be alone in prayer, how much more do we, as imperfect people need to be with Him?
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.Mark 1:35
What is the Importance of a Prayer Altar?
A prayer altar is important to your Christian walk because it encourages intentionality and dedication in prayer. You committing to a prayer habit and dedicating a specific time and space for you to be alone with God.
Any time you commit to being with God intentionally, it will produce fruit. Take the time to abide in Christ each and every day. Go to your secret place and be with him.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.John 15:4-5 ESV
Prayer is Everywhere
As valuable as a prayer altar is, it is still important to remember that this is not the only place you can pray. You can pray wherever you are, he is listening. God is not restricted to one space. He is with you always.
The purpose of a prayer altar is to create a space of intentionality. It is a valuable tool and a great thing to be a part of, but don’t keep yourself from prayer in other areas because you aren’t at your prayer altar.
Take time daily to spend in prayer. Keep an attitude of prayer with you throughout your day.