As Jesus taught them he said, is it not written, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11: 17)
It’s 5.30 on Monday morning and I have just returned from 2 hours in the stillness of church, and the prayer wall already has those words on it. They seem to encapsulate what is happening right now; a church building becoming a house of prayer, for the hundreds of local shops, businesses, schools, councils, play groups, care homes and churches as well as for the international community in its struggle for justice and peace. 24/7 prayer has begun at Christ Church, and God’s Spirit is building something deep.
‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who labour, labour in vain’ writes the Psalmist. My sense from this morning is that the way the Lord builds is by constructing walls of prayer, windows that let in the light and floors which are made to be walked on gently. But what is this ‘church’ if it is not the people? It is people who are being built by the Lord, people who are becoming children, women, men of prayer, who are open to the light of Christ flooding them, and who tread gently upon the earth.
I am off now to take our dog for a walk, but in that church there is prayer being offered. People are being met by the always-with-us God and what is most extraordinary for me to ponder as we walk is that for a whole week, every moment of every hour of every day and night, Christ Church will be filled with the silent sound of prayer…. the sound of the Spirit’s deep and mysterious work of grace.