We have this awesome thing at Open Door Fellowship called Sacred Space. It started a few years back when we participated in a 24/7 Prayer Week. The team of visionaries met and prayed and planned for months in advance. Artists participated as well and the result was an amazing transformation of the sanctuary. From the soft lighting and background worship music to the many creative prayer stations, it became the most tranquil and inviting place I'd ever been in. The response was powerful and they decided to do it on a smaller scale once a month, calling it Sacred Space. I wrote a couple artlcles for the ODFprays blog site that shed a little more light on 24/7 and Sacred Space. 24/7 - Not Just for Super Pray-ers, and My First 24/7.
I love the name Sacred Space. And while we go to Sacred Space evenings at the church, the truth is, our very hearts are a sacred space. That's where we meet with God - in our hearts and minds. We don't need a building to go to and be with Him. I totally recognize that environment is a powerful facilitator. Environment and atmosphere are very important to me. I am visually oriented and sensitive to my surroundings. I love being at 24/7s and Sacred Space nights because of the focus and tranquility they bring to me. They help me forget everything else and just be with God, be it pouring my heart out to Him or letting Him lead the conversation. But I have been wanting to develop my own personal sacred space in my heart, not dependent on any church event or building. I have not been doing very well at it, but I do know that learning how to develop a quiet heart is a key factor to experiencing God's presence and His love. I have been thinking of ways to "bring it home." I have small ideas and big ideas. Some involve creating my own sacred space setting and others just require me, some quiet, and some discipline (ah-ha, there's the rub). Another article for the ODFprays blog has yet to be posted. I was reminded of it by seeing the canvas it mentions. Here it is:
Bringing It Home
The ministries of 24/7 and Sacred Space usher us into God’s presence and inspire in us prayer, meditation, reflection, and worship. The tranquil environment, the beauty and creativity all help us quiet our hearts and enter into a very real experience of God’s presence. These ministries are a gift and I greatly look forward to them. But wouldn’t it also be great if we could learn to find our own "sacred spaces" in our everyday relationship with God? That’s exactly what He wants.
I have been thinking over the last couple years about how to bring into my personal everyday relationship with God some of the wonderful aspects of these special prayer environments. They so beautifully facilitate sweet times with God that I want more. I began by asking myself what are my favorite things, what are the things that really work for me? Some of my favorite parts of any ODF Sacred Space or 24/7 are the stations that let me write on the wall. "The wall" might be butcher paper or a painted over piece of wood. Regardless of the medium, it's a big, shared, public space. Whatever it is that God has pointed out to me - whether glaringly or softly - through the prayer station’s meditation, I love the simple act of writing it down in a public way. I post it as a form of declaration, worthy of being remembered and permanently claimed as mine. As others write their words, the walls become a beautiful collection of private encounters with God, anonymous roof-top declarations, powerful statements. They are the documentation of pivotal moments taken place within listening and yielded hearts.
A few months ago I was excited to have an idea. I went to Aaron Brothers and bought a canvas and some Sharpie markers. I hung it up and began writing down, Sacred Space style, some of the things God was impressing upon my heart through my personal prayer times, Bible reading and scripture meditation. Let me tell you, I am loving it! I pass by the canvas, which is slowly filling up, and read the reminders of what God has spoken to me. Each time I "hear" something new I post it on the canvas. It has been such a blessing.
Sacred Space evenings and our yearly 24/7 events are wonderful and special times. They are also tools to train us how to bring it home into our everyday relationship with our Father who longs to meet with us everyday.