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.

  • 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?”
  • 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?
  • 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?

Let us know how the conversation or self-reflection went. Email us or discuss the experience in our comment box.

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.