Find your own ‘sacred space’

Only you can find your perfect place for prayer or reflection

By The Revd Canon Andrew Wright

I love the village church I go to on Sundays. Parts of it go back almost 1,000 years and it is full of wonderful history. It is a powerful thing to reflect on the many generations of worshippers for whom that space has been so important, particularly at some of life’s most profound moments, happy or sad.

Sacred space can be very important and no doubt many of our readers will have special places, perhaps churches, where you have worshipped, where you have felt in some way the presence of God.

Yes, church buildings can be important – especially if they are the kind of architectural structure which inspires the spirit. Seafarers, however, have little access to such places. That being said, many seafarers’ centres do have small chapels (sometimes beautiful ones) for prayer, reflection, and quiet. And, of course, chaplains and their teams can help with access to places of worship within local communities, of all faith traditions.

In all this, though, it must always be remembered that we do not need buildings to meet with God. ‘Sacred space’ comes in many forms. Jacob, for example, in a desperate state, lay down to sleep in the remote wilderness, his head on a stone. There he dreamed of a stairway to heaven, on which angels were ascending and descending. There God spoke to him and blessed him. When he awoke, he said, “truly this is none other than the house of God, the gate of heaven”.

Seafarers, and others who find themselves in far and wild places, should be reassured. God is close and you can meet with him wherever you are. Yes, many have discovered that the most unexpected places can, for you, be the stairway to heaven, a place where God meets you in your need, with love.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright is secretary general of The Mission to Seafarers.

A prayer for seafarers

Lord, we thank you for the churches which have been special to us, and for their communities of people, including our own families and friends.

We thank you too that you meet with us not only in such places but wherever we are.

We thank you that we can know your love even in the most surprising moments.

We thank you for those times when we can say, truly this is the house of God, the gate of heaven.

Give us many such moments O Lord.