Here is a blurb that a friend of mine sent me the other day. It is from the 24-7 Prayer site. I just thought it souded like a great idea - a good expression of what has been stirring with so many of us for a while:
Houses of Prayer...
Maybe it was inevitable from the start�
First 24-7 Prayer Rooms began self-seeding around the world
Then some people started joining up all the seasons of prayer to form prayer houses; on the go 24-7-365!
"� these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer� For my house will be called A house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 56.7)
Ancient rhythm, be our vision�
We nick-named them 'Boiler Rooms' because there was that sense of an engine driving God's dreams forward. We also liked the industrial vibe - these are not rural idylls, they are right in the heart of messed-up communities. We later found out that the great preacher Spurgeon attributed his effectiveness to his 'boiler rooms' - prayer-rooms that supported his ministry.
Some people describe the Boiler Rooms as 'Gen. X monasteries' because of similarities with the ancient Celtic (and later Franciscan) monastic movements. Although we fall along way short of those radical prayer-communities, we do find ourselves gathering to do many of the same things as them. The heart is the same but the clothes are new. So we adopted the strap-line 'Millennium 3 Monasteries' ('Gen X' sucks!)
"The dominant institution of Celtic Christianity was neither the parish church nor the cathedral, but the monastery� a combination of commune, retreat house, mission station, hotel, hospital, school, university, arts centre and power-house for the local community - a source not only of spiritual energy but also of hospitality, learning and cultural enlightenment."
(Ian Bradley - The Celtic Way)
Like those early Celtic pioneers we are seeking to establish prayer-houses right at the heart of communities; a hostel for modern-day pilgrims, an outlet of justice for the poor, a mission station and an arts centre.