Freerange Friday: Creating Sacred Space

by Lilly Lewin

By Lilly Lewin

I’m in Kansas City this week, curating a Sacred Space Prayer Room experience for the United Methodist Church YOUTH2019 Conference. It’s a gathering of students and leaders from all over the United States and beyond. The Upper Room is sponsoring the Sacred Space and hired me to design and curate the space around the theme of the event, LOVE WELL.


First, I believe that we cannot love well if we don’t have margin in our lives, if we don’t have rest! So I designed the entire Sacred Space around the LOVE WELL fountain where participants can sit down in rocking chairs, lay down on blankets, or sit on a cushion and JUST REST and BE with Jesus.

I then added small prayer tents, called Poustinias, so students could pray and listen to God or just take a nap in them.

“Poustinia is a Russian word for a small sparsely furnished cabin or room where one goes to pray and fast alone in the presence of God. The word poustinia has its origin in the Russian word for desert.

Whenever I design a Sacred Space Prayer Room or Prayer Experience, I start with four prayer stations.

1. A Place to Pray for the World, because God blesses the World not just America.

2. A Place to Confess our Sins, because we Protestants are bad at that!

3. A Place to Create Prayers in Art, because that’s how I like to pray and because I want the artists to know that their creativity is prayer.

4. A Place to Rest, because it’s a commandment! and #RESTisHOLY

After creating the design for these four stations, I then build on the theme and/or the Scripture passages being taught at the conference.

In this Sacred Space we are standing on a hand painted map of the world and praying for different places, countries, and people to be filled with the love of God. I also created some large tag board hearts that people can pick up to pray with as they stand on the map. The art station has two tables filled with supplies to create with and one of my team created a heart outline on the floor that the students are filling in with their art prayers.  I created a new confession station for this Sacred Space and it involves building blocks. I like to use everyday items that you will see again to help people remember their experience with God. I also knew that their would be lots of guys at this event and I wanted something fun and tactile to engage them right when you walked in the space. This may be my new favorite station! Participants are writing down with sharpie markers, the things that BLOCK them form receiving God’s Love. They are writing this on the Building Blocks and giving these to God to hold. Letting them go and receiving God’s love!

So what are the things that are BLOCKING you from receiving God’s love today? Talk to God about this. If you have some wooden blocks actually write these things down so you have a visual of them to give to God to remove for you! Here is the signage/directions from this station:

What Blocks you from God’s Love?

To love well we all

need to receive the

love of God.

What stops you from believing in the Goodness of God? What things block you from believing in God’s love for you?

Write these on a block and give them to Jesus to hold for you.




Write these things on a block and give them to Jesus to hold for you.

Allow Jesus to unblock these things.
Allow Jesus to hold all the stuff, the junk, the sin that blocks you from receiving his great love for you! Remember that Jesus loves you, RIGHT NOW, JUST AS YOU ARE! You don’t have to get your act together first. Allow Jesus to love you now, so you can love others well.

I will talk more about the other stations next week.
Take time this week to practice the four areas I’ve talked about above.
Pray for our World…use a map, your news feed, a globe or even a magazine to inspire you to pray for God’s love and hope to be felt and shared.
Use the Block Confessional above.
Create something this weekend that expresses your love for God…draw, doodle, collage, write a poem.

and most importantly, REST. Really. Just REST. Take a Nap. Take time to Stop, Be, Breathe and let God love you well.


Sacred Space prayer kits can be purchased in the store at There is a great on for Back to School that has stations based on School Supplies if you are thinking ahead.

©lillylewin and



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