|From Holy Land|
1 LORD, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
Our hotel in Jerusalem was a short walk to the Wailing Wall. This is the site of the temple destroyed in 70 AD but this wall became a pilgrimage site for Jews shortly after as it is the closest part of the original structure to the Holy of Holies where the Divine Presence is thought to preside.
There is a men's section where the men pray and a woman's side where I went to take my petitions. Many people write down their prayers and place them in the crevices between the stones.
I came ready with prayers for my family and friends who had asked for prayer during the trip. As I touched the wall I prayed over my pieces of paper and carefully placed them in a special spot. I asked God to hear our prayers and to help us feel His presence.
After a few minutes I was asked to step aside by one of the janitors. He was cleaning the area and pulling all of the prayers out of the crevices and placing them into what looked like a waste basket. I had heard that they collect prayers and give them to priests to pray over. Upon further look, I did see that there was a separate bin for prayers and trash but they both looked the same at first glance.
I guess I hoped that my prayers would stay closer to the Holy of Holies for just a bit longer. I had hoped that priest would come by and hand pick my prayers out of the wall himself and pray over them while wearing full regalia and any other holy accessories.
I almost gave up.
But I thought of the many times when I thought my prayers were unanswered only to find them answered later in a most spectacular way. So I went back to the wall and prayed again. This time I added a blessing for all the petitions that had been swept away, that had been forgotten too soon, or had been left with a feeling of hopelessness. It was then that I felt God moving.
I'm not sure what happened, but I know that God is still answering those prayers and I continue both day and night to praise Him and ask for help.
|From Holy Land|
Until Everyone Hears,