The Wailing Wall & The 2 Year Anniversary of the Prayer Room
2 Jewish Temples have been built in Jerusalem in the past, both have been destroyed by invading armies. However, there is a remaining segment of the wall that used to surround the Jewish Temple that was not destroyed in 70AD by the Romans. It is only a small segment of the original wall of the 2nd Jewish Temple built over 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people have gone to this wall and cried over their destroyed temple and talked to God at this place for thousands of years.
The Europeans dubbed it “The Wailing Wall” because Jewish people would fervently pray out to God at this wall about their culture, their life and offer up their prayer requests at this wall. It is this segment that is one of the most visited places in Jerusalem by Jewish people and tourists alike.
The wall now has a plaza in front of it which was built after the 6 Day War of 1967 and it is divided into 2 segments: one for males, one for females.
I visited the wall when I went to Israel and was amazed at the number of people groups that come to visit the wall. From Orthodox Jews to Messianic Jews to people from every flavour of the globe. It is a feast for people watchers.
There is a “dress code” at the wall: men must have their head covered and women must have their head, shoulders and legs covered. Scarves are provided for the women to put on. When you approach the wall, you usually have to wait your turn as there are line ups of people waiting to offer up prayers.
The wall has 46 layers of stones called courses, 29 courses are above ground and 17 are under the ground. In these rocks are crevices and cracks which when you get up to the wall you see millions of little pieces of paper stuffed into these crevices, everywhere you look. You have to look hard for a space to put your prayers into.
The millions of prayers are collected twice a year and are buried in a Jewish cemetery, these prayers are handled respectfully and with honor.
When you are finished at the wall, it is disrespectful to turn your back to the wall, you must back up away from the wall, pushing through the crowd in a backwards fashion until well away from it.
This first week of March marks the Anniversary of the 2nd year of The Prayer Room.
This is the Prayer Room is located in the Mission Thrift Store in Gr. Prairie and is not a room. It is a space on the floor of the store in the furniture department that is cordoned off by a folding partition where someone can come and sit in private and unseen and give their prayer requests to the Prayer Room volunteer. The Prayer Room is open to all people, no matter faith or belief. It is a place that is safe to unload your burden of life. It is open Monday – Friday from 1:00-3:00. If no one is there when you are, there is a locked mailbox and a paper on the wall to write your private prayer requests on and place into the crevice of the mailbox. It will be prayed for.
The Prayer Room is a place that speaks volumes of answered and miraculous answers to prayer. We have seen them, heard them and watched them come forth. There is nothing like the feeling of a person returning to you to tell you how God answered their prayers. For every person that reports back, we know there are also many that do not come back and tell us. It does not mean it was not answered.
Why do we offer a Prayer Room? Simple: God said to.
Two years ago God told Brian and myself to start a Prayer Room in Gr. Prairie after we had visited and witnessed one in Georgia, USA. I was working full time and although we both heard the same thing, “start a Prayer Room”, we did not see how it was possible at that time.
Funny thing, 6 weeks later my job came to an end and the “start a prayer room” became a theme that would not leave.
I was at the Thrift Store one day shopping, still undecided if I would undertake this adventure when I got tapped on the shoulder. One of the managers said to me, “I think your services are needed. I have a fellow who has basically collapsed at the counter because he is so weak. He has stage 4 cancer and has come to the store requesting someone to pray.” I had not said I would do this, so when God started to send people in before the Prayer Room even started, I sensed His push to get moving.
I and a couple others prayed for this fellow that day. He had not eaten in 8 days and was so weak he could barely keep going. The Dr.’s had said there was nothing else they could do. Good thing we know the God who does know what to do.
After we had prayed for the man, I can tell you my faith was a little shaky as he was in such a bad way. It is not my faith that heals anyone, it is my honor to lift people up to the throne of God. God knows what He can accomplish. I never saw or heard from this man again until 4 months later.
In the meantime, I had started the Prayer Room out of obedience. The Prayer Room started out with just me, but God is so in the Prayer Room that in the last 2 years I have been Blessed to have 9 other partners come forward and volunteer along with me so that we are able to be there 5 days a week. Two of those volunteers are 2 of my sons, I am not sure how to convey the feeling of seeing your children pour themselves into others lives in this fashion. Some volunteers have come and gone on to other things, some are still there faithfully serving others.
4 months after praying for that man I mentioned above, I was at the Prayer Room and I saw this fellow standing at the front of the store, grinning. I walked over to him and said, “I know you.” He nodded.
Then it hit me, this was the man, that man who the Dr’s had written off. I had not
recognized him because he had gained weight, stood upright and looked totally healthy. He had come to the store that day to let us know that he had just heard from his Dr.’s. They could find no trace of cancer in his body. Praise God!
The kinds of prayer requests we get, while they are varied, I would have to say the majority of them fall into two groups. The first one being healing and the very close second would be praying for loved ones who are caught in addictions of all kinds.
Here are some of the other requests: salvation, jobs, anxiety, pregnancy’s, places to live, school, bullying, loneliness, children and grandchildren, paying the bills, covid and vaccines.
Our God is a Miracle Worker, A Healer, A Freedom Restorer, A Life Giver, A Friend and a Lover of Souls. We know this at the Mission Thrift Store – we have seen people saved, redeemed, healed, loved, restored, and people set free from all kinds of addictions.
God’s answers are varied, even to the point of taking some dear souls home to heaven to be with Him. That is still an answer to prayer.
This is the God we serve. We cannot explain how He works; we simply know He does and so do the millions of people who visit the Wailing Wall each year – they know God answers prayer. Everyone, and every time – (not always the way we thought) but answer He does.
It does not matter if prayer happens in a prayer room, in a living room, in a bathroom, bathtub, in a store, in a car… prayer works. It works because God works. He promised to hear and answer every prayer.
1 John 5:14-15 ESV
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Isaiah 65:24 ESV
“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.”
It might not be the way we want to have it answered, but all prayer gets answered! Prayer takes God to the people and the people to God.