|How to make a Small Prayer Alter|
|Written by Bill Hanks|
There are many people that read their daily devotions and add prayers along with them. They like to have something to place their pictures,bible or devotional book on and other religious items, too.
If people are in a wheelchair or if they are bed ridden, they need something that they can place across their laps similar to a food tray. This is not to be used as a food tray. It is to enhance the religious experience for the individual as they pray, read, or meditate.
Some people even like to light a small candle or two on this Prayer Alter. However, I don't think that is very wise. That is because of the possibility of a fire.
This Prayer Alter can also be placed on a small table, too. It can be used on a coffee table or even at the kitchen table.
You can make a Prayer Alter as fancy as you want. I have seen some that look a little like a lectern. That allows for their reading material to be at an angle. The problem with that, is that older individuals have to slide the entire alter towards or away from them so they can view their reading material. For some, this can be a problem. It also adds to the weight of the alter. You want something that can easily be lifted and moved by the person.
This alter is just a simple Prayer Alter. Here is what you need to build your Prayer Alter with. Small wood screws, (drywall screws could work too), One piece of board (top) that measures 24 inches by 14 inches wide. This is your main piece. You can use 1 inch thickness for this board if you want. Your next two pieces are the sides. They should be identical in size ( 14 inches by 12 inches). The 12 inches is how high it will elevate the alter. Note; If you are going to use this Prayer Alter at the kitchen table, you will want to reduce this to 8 inches on the sides. You will need one more piece as a brace. It should be 24 inches by 4 inches. This brace will go across the backside of the Prayer Alter at he top. It will help make the Prayer Alter more solid.
Now using a portable screwdriver, attach the sides 14 inches to the 14 inches part of your alter top. The screws you use should be at least 1 3/4 inches long. Two inch screws would even work better. Next, secure your brace the 24 by 4 inch board to the backside. Make sure it is flush with the top and sides. Put screws in the top and sides. I would think that 6 screws for this piece (2 in each board) would be enough.
Now get some wood stain. Set the Prayer Alter on some newspaper and stain it. After it drys, put a coat of sealer on it. Some people like to sand all the wood down first and make it smooth. That is a good idea, if you have a sander.
I once saw a Prayer Alter that used Popsicle sticks to make a cross on it. It can be stained and then glued down wherever you want it. Some place it in one of the upper corners.
Next you need a small piece of linen. This linen should be 32 inches long and 10 inches wide. You make this out of an old sheet or pillowcase. This drapes across the alter. Your Prayer Alter is now finished.
You might want to get a book easel to hold their devotion book or bible. An adjustable one is best.
Prayer Alters make for great gifts. They are especially appreciated by individuals that are very religious. It gives them a way to focus on their prayers, readings, and meditations in a spiritual way.