I’ve Prayed in Some Really Weird Places

“At the end of the day, most of us want the same things. There should be respect on both ends.”

 

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In addition to the questions below, please see How to use the questions for reflection.

Clarification
  • For the speaker, what makes a place a weird place to pray? 
  • Why does the speaker love going to the Chapel?
  • What does she mean by “the big picture?”
Interpretation
  • Is the “big picture” the same for everybody?  Why or why not?  
  • Do the smaller theological differences ever trump the big picture? 
  • What would “respect on both ends” look like?
Implication
  • In what ways can the places you inhabit be more inclusive to others?
  • In what ways do they need to remain exclusive?
  • Does your work lead you to places where you need to find connection even when others will see you as an outsider?

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Transcript for I’ve Prayed in Some Really Weird Places

For religious purposes we go to the mosque, which is just in Merrillville, but if I ever have to pray, I can usually find a room, you know, a study room, or an empty classroom or something. That’s about it.

The obligatory are five prayers, and they’re at the different times of day: at dawn, at noontime, afternoon, dusk, and then at night. It used to be determined by the sun and stuff, but now there’s – I have an app that just tells me what times I can pray on.

You can pray absolutely anywhere. You can pray outside, you can pray – I mean, I’ve prayed in some really weird places, like a Macy’s fitting room. That’s probably the best place to pray, actually.

I feel like a creep, sort of, like, “This is an empty classroom, I’ll just use this for a few minutes.” The library you can usually find either a study room or the copy room or something. Mueller is always full of empty classrooms. I think once somebody walked in, but not really interrupted, like it was fine, I don’t know.

We were going to work on something like that – like a prayer room – so you could go there no matter what time or anything, and it would just be an empty room. I know they were thinking maybe in the Union. There was me and now I have a couple friends on campus – two of my friends are on campus, and my brother and his friends. So it’s getting to be more of us, in a way, so I think we probably will pursue it and see what we could do.

I think it would be cool to sit down, ‘cause just what I’ve done of my reading and my studying, there are a lot of similarities between the biblical texts and the texts in the Quran. Some very obvious ones, like even the wording is very similar. So I think that would be cool–some scripture reading together, or like praying together. That’s one thing I really believe in. I love to go to Chapel whenever I can and participate in the prayer because I feel like even if – if you put aside some of the smaller theological differences and stuff – at the end of the day, most people want the same things. Everybody wants safety and health and peace and the big picture. And you’re praying – it’s the same God – and you can adopt different forms of prayer. So I don’t think anyone would object to that. And I think that’s something I’m personally a big fan of. There should be respect on both ends.