What is a Christian Prayer Mat?

By Faith and Rain, 18 January, 2024
A young Asian woman sitting on a Christian prayer mat

Christians find a prayer rug an effective way to find quiet time with Jesus, offering your thoughts, requests, praises and thanksgivings directly to Him.

Muslim prayer rugs typically feature a mihrab at one end, which represents the niche found in every mosque and points towards Mecca.

Additionally, images depicting significant Islamic landmarks are commonly included, though living creatures are forbidden under Islam.

Prayer Mat Meaning

A prayer mat or rug, usually comprised of cloth or pile carpet, is an item used by Muslims and some Christians during prayer services.

The purpose of it is to keep worshipers clean while taking various positions such as prostration and kneeling for prayer.

Furthermore, its orientation towards Mecca or home base helps guide worshipers towards Mecca or their desired direction of prayer. Therefore, it must be treated with due care so as not to disrespect its material form.

Amor Craun, an American Muslim convert who made her Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca over 15 years ago.

She takes the prayer mat on that pilgrimage with her everywhere, including to work supporting migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

It helps keep her focused on her spiritual journey; and has even donated mats when others struggle to focus on prayers.

Who uses Prayer Mats

Muslim and Coptic Christians are the primary users of prayer rugs, which serve as portable sacred grounds and transport them symbolically somewhere else.

Most prayer mats are rectangular with an opening at one end for praying head position marking, often featuring images such as Kaaba or Prophet Mohammed himself adornments; their proper care holds great spiritual importance.

Amor Craun's advocacy efforts have enabled her to give out hundreds of prayer mats as gifts to migrants from Sudan, Senegal and Afghanistan who have settled in San Diego.

Craun says their eyes fill with tears upon receiving them - especially if the rug features an inspiring Bible story or colorful designs.

Places to Buy a Christian Prayer Mat

There are various places you can purchase a Christian prayer mat. Most small ones fit into handbags or backpacks for easy transport.

The larger versions can also be placed inside your home to use during prayerful kneeling and other types of praying sessions.

Many prayer rugs are hand woven by local villages or weavers and decorated with images but not living creatures as this is forbidden by Islam. Additionally, many prayer rugs contain the names of both weaver and village.

Sinful use of a prayer mat would only occur if it were being utilized inappropriately or as something other than intended, however otherwise its usage is perfectly fine - so long as it helps you focus more on God when praying!

Places to use Prayer Mats

Prayer mats are an elegant and effective way to show your faith. Perfect for the prayer room, bedroom, kitchen and other places within the home where prayer may take place.

These rugs come in various sizes so you can select the one which best complements the area in which you pray.

Prayer rugs are increasingly popular among travelers. They provide an easy and portable way to practice religion when no mosque or church can be found nearby, making these purchases online or from Islamic stores easy and affordable.

You can even buy prayer rugs with unique designs and embroidery that come equipped with unique prayers!

Islamic prayer rugs typically feature images of religious landmarks such as the Kaaba.

However, such images must not depict any living beings as this would be considered impure and they must also face towards Qibla for maximum effectiveness during prayers. Islamic prayer rugs can be used by Muslims, Christians and Baha'is.

History of Christian Prayer Mats

Prayer rugs have been around for centuries, serving both practical and symbolic functions.

Although their designs vary depending on where they were created - from palace workshops to villages, by professional decorative artists or simple needlewomen - one feature they all share is a mihrab niche.

Prayer mats were first constructed out of palm fronds and first used by Prophet Mohammed himself.

Today they're used to ensuring cleanliness during Islamic prayer positions; using one that's dirty would be considered disreputable and should never be done so again.

Italian artists Giovanni Bellini and Vittore Carpaccio used prayer rugs as an artistic form to portray religious practices important to Muslims at that time.

Today, prayer rugs remain a symbolic representation of Muslim culture worldwide as they serve as reminders that Muslims exist everywhere.


Though most Christian denominations do not practice prostrate prayer, a prayer mat can still serve as an effective reminder of God's presence when away from home or to show solidarity with Muslims or Coptic Christians.

However, it's important not to misuse this resource: do not use it for decoration purposes or as seating furniture!

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