Great Britain, a nation renowned for its rich Christian history, is soon to debut a new religious icon: a 167-foot-tall “Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer.” To give an idea of its magnitude, Britain’s current largest sculpture, the Angel of the North, located in Gateshead, stands at 66 feet high.
The wall has three purposes, The Guardian newspaper reports: “to ‘preserve the Christian heritage of the nation’; encourage prayer; and ‘proclaim Jesus for the country.’” Expected to cost nearly $12 million (£9.3 million), the complex will sit on a 10-acre site on the outskirts of Birmingham, one of the nation’s major cities. The newspaper reports the wall “will be visible up to six miles away and is expected to be seen from half a million vehicles on the nearby M6 and M42 [highways] each week.”
The idea is 16 years in the making, spearheaded by Richard Gamble, a former Leicester City soccer club chaplain. “I felt God speak to me and give me the idea,” he said. “I spent 10 years wrestling with that.” Six years ago, he finally gave in.
Not an Altar but a Monument
The wall will be augmented with a visitor’s center, cafe, and bookshop. The complex is expected to draw 300,000 visitors each year. The wall itself will “take the shape of a loop known as a Möbius strip,” according to The Guardian.
Additionally, this monument will not simply be about prayer but will be a testament to the power of prayer, featuring an answered prayer request for each of the one million bricks comprising the structure.
“We’re trying to make hope visible and provoke a conversation about prayer. Everyone goes through storms in life, and hope is one of the greatest antidotes to anxiety and fear,” Gamble told the newspaper.
Also in support is Andy Street, mayor of West Midlands, the region in which the wall is to be located. “This landmark will serve as a place of hope for many, and one that will help us remember the Christian heritage of our nation,” he said.
Added Gamble, “We say we’re a secular nation, but most Christian [organizations] reported a massive spike [in interest] during lockdown and people Googling about prayer. Even though we [in Britain] operate as a secular nation, many of us turn to prayer in times of crisis.”
Thus, the wall seems like a visible surge toward Britain’s Christian roots. Indeed, the United Kingdom is no stranger to the landmarks of Christianity. In 1611, scholars employed seven years earlier by King James I released an “authorized” version of the Bible“ newly translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised.” That translation, widely known today as the King James Version, has inspired generations of Bible teachers, preachers, and workers to share the gospel with millions around the globe.
In the 1700s, the teachings of Englishman John Wesley, a prominent preacher in connection with the Protestant Reformation, formed the basis for Methodism. Wesley’s influence, though after his death, sparked a revival that culminated in the birth of the movement, hailing a denomination that became known especially for its mission work.
Concerning the topic of answered prayer, who can forget the life of George Müller, an English evangelist celebrated for his work with orphans? A reckless college student whose life was transformed during a home prayer meeting in 1825, Müller was born in Prussia but lived most of his life in the city of Bristol. He operated orphanages that were supported for more than 60 years by his prayers alone. He never made a public appeal for funds but trusted his needs to God and saw them met every single time.
Those who know their Bible will recall that establishing a memorial connected with prayer isn’t unusual. In Genesis 35, we read the story of Jacob’s return to Bethel, where he first fled from the wrath of his brother, Esau. Bethel was a significant place for the patriarch. At a time when he was at his lowest, Jacob was here reassured by God of the ultimate promise: “In you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 28:14). When Jacob again visited Bethel upon the Lord’s instruction, God once more confirmed His promise to him: “The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land” (35:12).
This was the covenant promise made by God to His chosen people. The seed that was to come from Jacob, Jesus Christ, is the Savior of the world. He is the One to lead us all into the heavenly Promised Land.
Comforted and strengthened in faith, “Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel” (vv. 14, 15). While Jacob never personally saw the fulfillment of that promise, history did. And we can step out in faith knowing that our heavenly home awaits us.
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.