Together with a group of other members of our church, I had the privilege of visiting a mosque yesterday evening. They were welcoming and informative and we were allowed to sit at the back and watch the men at their evening prayers.
I found the ritual and movement fascinating – ‘whole body’ praying. I asked afterwards what it means when Muslims put their hands up to the sides of their heads when they pray. Our guide described it as casting the distractions of the world behind you and focusing on God.
I liked the importance placed on preparation – e.g. Muslims wash before they pray. I think often Christians do not, individually, prepare themselves – I’m not suggesting we wash before we pray, but often we come to God in supposed ‘worship’ with no forethought about what we are doing or who we are worshipping.
Obviously there are many differences between our faiths, but I enjoyed the experience and the commonality of the desire of wishing to serve and worship God.
My favourite part of the talk our guide was when he was talking about being able to pray anywhere. “The whole world is a prayer room,” he said.
Amen to that!