A strange place for a monastery

It started in a trailer behind a church building. It now resides in a converted grocery store in a small strip mall in a leafy neighborhood full of 1960′s ranch homes and apartment complexes. Part of the strip mall is given to fairly mundane tenants: a realtor, a coffee shop, a small independent bookstore, some office space. On one side of the strip mall is a free-standing gas station. Across the road, a small liquor store.
At the strip mall, they’ve got nearly 1000 people there from around the world who’ve committed most or all of their vocational lives in prayer. And hundreds more who are working a day job somewhere to fund their prayer habit at the strip mall. There are dozens of local businesses and ministries connected with this little strip mall.
But prayer is what they do, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can show up at the strip mall at 4 a.m. on a Thursday morning, and there will be a worship and prayer team focused on intercessory prayer. At noon on Mondays, they’re singing, praying and meditating on a specific passage of Scripture. It is a Charismatic monastery, in the best, truest sense of both of those descriptors.
And for Bill and I this weekend, it is a way station as we continue our journey.
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About Michelle Van Loon
  • Lisa

    I would love to visit there someday! I feel like prayer is so often just a little “time-out” in the worship service, a chance for the song leader/worship team and the minister to give their voices a rest, or it signals a transition from singing to the communion or some other part of worship. I can’t remember the last time we had a good old-fashioned prayer service where we really were devoted to prayer.

  • Michelle Van Loon

    Lisa -
    Your desire for more prayer truly is a gift from God, meant to draw you to Himself.

    You’re right about the way so many of us experience prayer in a church service – it’s used as a transition instead of as our reason for being there. (I was involved in service planning at one church, and volunteered on the planning team one year at the seminary where I work, and we’d often talk about using prayer as a bridge from one service element to another.)


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