Clonmacnoise monastic settlement, County Offaly, Ireland. (Photo:© Irish Tourist Board) __________________________________________
Since we are a fairly new Ministry, still in our beginning stages, we really don't have that long of a History; but we have produced this page in response to several requests that we do so. __________________________________________
The Prayer Foundation Timeline
Though at that time Monk Preston and Monk Linda, the two co-founders of The Prayer Foundation , were not yet officially monks, they were already "monks in their hearts." They were (and remain) a born-again Christian married couple, both of whom have loved the idea of monks and monasticism all of their lives. receive a calling to Christian service to found a "prayer encouragement ministry." It would be both International and Interdenominational. A ministry that would include both prayer teaching and prayer resources to help bring the entire Body of Christ back to the practice of prayer. Why? To bring Christians into a deeper relationship with God. And that the power of God, which is needed especially for the purpose of evangelizing the world, might be manifested in response to the prayers of His people.
Monk Preston and Monk Linda visit Ireland. They go to see the Book of Kells and other illuminated Gospel manuscripts made by ancient Celtic monks. Medieval monastic ruins and pre-medieval (500-800 A.D.) monastic ruins left by early pre-Roman Catholic Celtic Monks. On the west Irish coast, they visit the Gallerus Oratory, a perfectly intact 1,400 year old Church, scarcely large enough to hold twelve monks for the reading of the Gospels.
They also visit the ancient dry-stone bee-hive huts that Celtic monks lived in where they could gaze out to sea at the very edge of Europe (for more on this trip, see our pages: Our Goals). It is in places like this that Christianity, hand copied books, and even the knowledge of reading an writing were preserved. On the European continent, these things had largely disappeared following the collapse of the Roman Empire and the invasion and triumph of barbarian hordes.
Ancient Irish Monks & Francis of Assisi
When Charlemagne needed people who could read and write, he had to send to western Ireland. Later, it was also from from Ireland that missionary-minded Irish monks went out in droves to Christianize northern pagan Europe and re-Christianize now pagan southern Europe. To get an idea of what Europe had become: when the Irish monks went into pagan Italy to preach the Gospel, they found Rome a heap of rubble, and the Pope living in the middle of this rubble in a building called the "Lateran" (hundreds of years before, it had been one of the Emperor Nero's stables). For more on this era, see our page, Book Review: How the Irish Saved Civilization.
On the same trip, Monk Preston and Monk Linda visited Assisi, Italy. Here they walked where St. Francis had walked. They were touched to see the actual "Habit" (monk robe) that Francis of Assisi was wearing when he went home to be with the Lord.
All we mean by being a "monk" is to be a consecrated Christian, especially dedicated to the Word of God and prayer.
Monk Preston and Monk Linda wanted to live like these ancient Irish Monastic "Billy Grahams." To live in the spirit of St. Francis and the New Testament. Luther and the other Reformers had rejected monasticism. What if they had applied the principles of the Reformation and Scripture to it, and instead had reformed monasticism, as they had done with the Ministry, and the Church? Preston and Linda decided to do this. Monks should be born-again Christians. Monks should be allowed to marry. Preston and Linda based this on Reformation principles found in the New Testament (later they learned that the Celtic Christians had allowed married monks for over three-hundred years). All we mean by being a "monk" is to be a consecrated Christian, especially dedicated to the Word of God and prayer.
July 19, 1999
Monk Preston drove an hour from Portland, Oregon, to the State Capital at Salem, and filed legal papers with the Secretary of State's Office. The Prayer Foundation became a legal entity; a Nonprofit Christian Religious Corporation registered in the State of Oregon.
When he came out of the building containing the Office of the Secretary of State, the steps of the State Capital were directly in front of me. Three policemen outside the main doors eyed him warily as he kneeled on the Capital steps and gave thanks to God.
To Promote Prayer Among all Christians; to Bear Witness of Jesus Christ to All People
"The Purpose of The Prayer Foundation is to promote and encourage prayer among all Christians everywhere, and in so doing, to bear witness of Jesus Christ to all people everywhere." This is the purpose of The Prayer Foundation as stated in its legal documents of Incorporation and By-laws. The Prayer Foundation is a Christian Ministry whose purpose is to encourage Christians to pray. While doing this, it proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who have never accepted Him as their personal Lord and Saviour.
The Knights of Prayer Monastic Order was also created at this time. It is composed of supporters of The Prayer Foundation . The idea of "monks" is a historical Christian symbol and metaphor for both a life of prayer, and a life of dedication to the Lord.
The First Christian Religious Order in the History of the World to give Full and Equal Monk Status to Women
The Knights of Prayer Monastic Order (Celtic, Franciscan in spirit: it is the First Monastic Order composed entirely of born-again, Evangelical Christians) offers full monk status to ordinary Christian lay people (those who do not go to live at a religious community but remain in their own homes, at their own jobs and careers; including those who are married). It is the first Christian Religious Order in the history of the world to give full and equal Monk Status to women. On July 19, 1999; Monk Linda became the First Lady Monk in the history of Christianity.
Following the examples of George Mόller, Rees Howells, Hudson Taylor, and Francis and Edith Schaeffer's L'Abri Fellowship, it was decided not to make appeals for donations or do mailings requesting money, but only to go to God in prayer for the needs of the several ministries of The Prayer Foundation .
Nov. 8, 2000
The Prayer Foundation Web Site went online worldwide with 12 pages, including a 24-Hr. Prayerchain.
2001 / 2002
Prayer Warriors volunteered to be a part of the ministry from Maine to Hawaii. Prayer requests came in from places as far apart as Peru, Canada, Singapore, and The Philippines. Prayer Warriors volunteered from 6 Countries and 33 U.S. States (see our pages: Prayer Warrior Map: World!, and Prayer Warrior Map: U.S.A.!) to pray for the prayer requests posted on our 24-Hr. Prayerchain. Weekly, God spectacularly answered prayer requests that were sent in (see them on archived our pages: Answers To Prayer). New Knights of Prayer Lay Monks were Registered in 8 U.S. States and Canada. Prayer requests are received from 42 Nations around the world. The number of pages on our Web Site increased from 12 to 400. "Hits" to the Web Site increased from 15 per week to 2,000 per day. Monk Bob Evangelized on the streets of Mexico at intervals all year. Monk William Evangelized for four weeks in China.
(As of February) 2009
Prayer Requests have so far been received from 82 Nations around the world. Our Prayer Warriors are now from 41 Countries, and all 50 U.S. States. "Hits" to the Web Site are currently averaging 20,000-40,000 Per Day (600,000-1,000,000+ per month).
Copyright © 2009 S.G.P. All rights reserved.