by Richard Long,
Here’s an excerpt from “The Phantom Intercessor” on the 24-7.com website. It’s well worth reading the whole article. Though it is a reflection on Europe, there is much in his/her thoughts which applies to Canada.
Flying back to London over steeples and spires, I remembered the hundreds and thousands of green lit minarets back ‘home’ in the United Arab Emirates. The commitment to a mosque-building programme so extensive that no-one will have to walk more than 10 minutes to pray. The busy mosques with shopping malls and a café and a barber. That are always open for prayers, and where people actually pray, shoes on the step outside, arms and feet washed, five times a day.
In most villages, towns and cities there is a church no more than ten minutes away. But our ancient prayer places, once lovely expressions of worship, are now an insurance liability, too expensive to heat, a financial burden, locked. There is no priest to open up, to pray with people, and no-one comes to pray.
Crazy thought, but what if … what if we, who are called to pray, … what if we opened up those ancient places? Not for a week or a month, but every lunchtime, every morning, whenever. For those who are called to be his hands and feet in banking and law, in building and nursing, who have no space and little time in their days to pray. Who feign sleep on the train and pray in the loo. What if we created space for them to pray? What if we somehow opened up these ancient prayer places, so that no-one had to walk more than ten minutes to walk, so that everyone had a place to pray in their working day?