This morning, I spent some time praying in my office. I pray here instead of walking when the weather looks sketchy, and today it was definitely that. As I knelt, I had the strange feeling that I was not alone. I realized I had joined – rather, I had entered into a place where countless others have come. Not that they had all been in my office, only that they had been in that space of prayer. It was as though I could see them all, overlaid in that kneeling space. There were Peter, John and the eleven; Paul, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla. There was Augustine and Luther; Calvin and Meno Simon. There were Wilberforce, John Knox and Wesley; Moravian missionaries and cloistered priests; Bonhoeffer, Corrie ten Boom, Watchman Nee, Ian Thomas and on and on…countless saints, named and nameless have come to this place.
They have come in quiet humility and desperate need; agonizing over weaknesses and repentant in failure. They prayed their exultation in God’s grace and over victories in His love. They came in fearful resignation and courageous determination. They have all been here on their knees crying out to God.
We lament over our insignificance and the hopelessness of our efforts, yet we are like all of the great ones when we pray. Moreover, we are like all of the unknowns. All of us have knelt in this place and so, have become a community. In the place of prayer we are like the luminous heroes of the faith, and not unlike the faintly glowing souls of those who lived in obscurity.
Here, in the privileged place of prayer, we are one.