The call to prayer.
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest” (Is 62,6) We believe, that in our days God is calling his people into prayer once again. Throughout the world, among all denominations, people are seeking the power, the authority and the fascination of a personal encounter with God in prayer. Be it “Burning Bush” in the Catholic Church, “International House of Prayer” or “24/7 prayer” in interdenominational organisations; a prayer and intercessory movement has emerged all over the world – it is passionate, determined and catching. In a world that is increasingly yearning for religious experiences – in a church, where the power of continuous, faithful prayer has been forgotten in so many places, young people rise up to reach for the promises of the word of God.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chr 7:14)
The invitation of the church: Schools of prayer.
In his apostolic writing “novo millenio ineunte” Pope John Paul II reminds the whole church: 32. This training in holiness calls for a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer. […] We have to learn to pray: [that] is the secret of a truly vital Christianity. (NMI 32)
„Our Christian communities must become genuine "schools" of prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly "falls in love".“ (NMI 33)
The Pope asks for methods of teaching how to pray, so that all Christians, even lay people in families and in the marketplace, would learn to lead a life of prayer, on more than a superficial level.
But where are these places, where people can encounter prayer that is passionate and alive? Where are the centers, where pastoral staff can experience powerful personal prayer, so they can become “teachers of prayer” in their own spheres of influence?
There is a need of schools of prayer. Such a place should be
- modern and attractive
- creative and innovative
- open to everybody
- spiritually challenging
The urgency of the hour demands centers of intercession
The Catholic Church in our country has to a great extent forgotten the art of intercession. In their writing “Time of sowing” the German Bishops highlight the importance of prayer for the development of a “spirituality of missionaries” (ZzA 15) and the success of evangelistic efforts. This call cannot be reduced to intercessory prayers during the eucharist. Intercession is an art. Intercession is a weapon – it is a persistent, passionate cry of the heart that God would change our country and draw hearts towards him.
But where are these places, where Catholics can encounter and learn that kind of intercession? A place is needed, where people stand on the walls as watchmen. Around the clock, every single day of the week different groups of intercessors cry out to God in prayer: Intercession for our church, intercession for our country, intercession for our politicians, intercession for a spiritual revival in Germany.
Our goal: Intercession – Adoration – Worship
The church needs new forms. The treasures of the tradition potentially contain nearly everything: personal and community prayer, intercession and contemplation, free and formal prayers. But which forms are adequate to reach everyday people without giving away central contents, and creatively uniting charismatic and traditional Catholic elements?
Adoration: there is no breathing in without breathing out. The power and motivation for intercession flows from an intimate, personal experience of eucharistic adoration. In silence and contemplation the heart learns to perceive God's voice and the alternating times of prayer become a dialogue of our intercession and God´s silent answers.
Worship: Music and songs help us to fix our gaze on God. Thanksgiving and worship cannot be devided from intercession and adoration. By praising God night and day, we proclaim his reign over this world – this is intercession. And our intercession is not focussed on the problems but on the glory and beauty of God. Prayer means to be fascinated by God.
What do we need a House of Prayer for?
We believe that we need a House of Prayer in Germany as a ministry to the church and to the world, as a spiritual center for the Charismatic Renewal Movement. As a place, where Catholic charismatic spirituality is lived and taught in a young, passionate and creative way. This is not a ministry exclusively for the young, passionate and creative people, however. It is open to the burnt-out 47-year-old dentist, who yearns for spiritual refreshing. It is open to the 19-year-old young woman, who wishes to deepen her faith for half a year after professional training. It is open to the family with three children who wants to spend the weekend together while encountering God. It is open to the 63-year-old parish priest, who desperately needs to find a place where he can receive, be refilled and ministered to. It is open to the 56-year-old woman in difficulties, who yearns for someone to pray for her.
We believe that prayer will impact our church and our nation. And we believe that there is too little prayer. We believe that by persistently praying, day and night, the spiritual atmosphere can be changed. We believe in a new dawn for Germany (and also for Europe), and a renewal in the church and in our society. And that is what we pray for. 24 hours, 7 days, 12 months, 365 days a year.