Prayer– Alison Bygrave
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt 6:6
When I worked at the university, my first head of department was a very godly man who was a minister in the Anglican church. At his funeral, all attendees were given a copy of his latest book, ‘The Gift of Repentance’ (J W Rogerson) which was a collection of his sermons, very different from his academic books, but excellent reading. In one he talked about the concept of prayer as going, in imagination, through a series of rooms, each room having its own purpose and its own furnishings and furniture. He got the idea from a book by Leslie Weatherhead, entitled ‘A Private House of Prayer’, in which the author has an intercession room, a thanksgiving room, a seeking forgiveness room and so on. If you have rooms inside your head where you can go to pray, then you can enter one and pray in private wherever you are, on a train, doing the ironing, in a noisy place.
I really liked this idea and managed to get the original book and began to think about what rooms I would like to imagine to pray in. My first room would be a room to worship God in, with a fabulous view. Twice in my life I have been in a place which was so full of the presence of God that you could feel Him very close. One was in the church of Christ the Healer at Burrswood in Kent, which was a place of healing founded in 1948 by the 20th century healing visionary, Dorothy Kerin (1890 – 1963), who was regarded by many as a modern-day Christian saint.
The other place was a tiny stone church with the most amazing view over the altar, the Church of the Good Shepherd by Lake Tekapo in New Zealand. I could have sat all day in the pews there, looking out at the Lake, surrounded by the presence of God. So that would be the first room I would imagine, a room to be still in and experience the power of God. Then for intercession, I think I would imagine an office, because I like to have lists and files, to help me think of the people I want to pray for. What about you? Would it help you to imagine yourself in a certain kind of room to help you focus on God?