“The peace in the prayer space was strong, and even people who didn’t believe in God could feel that.”

8th July 2021

Marita Roos is a regional leader with Moms in Prayer in Switzerland, and she has been praying for her local school in Gossau for more than ten years. Some of her prayers began to be answered recently when she and some other volunteers hosted the very first prayer space in Switzerland at that school.

We met with Marita, and with Jana Nimmo (leader, Prayer Spaces in Schulen), earlier this week to ask her some questions and to hear more of this exciting story.

A few years ago, Marita wrote to one of the Catholic monks who look after the school and she was encouraged by his enthusiastic response. ‘How can we get the Holy Spirit into the school?’ he wrote back, suggesting that she talk with the religion teacher in the school. So Marita met with the religion teacher and his response was equally positive. ‘Ask the Holy Spirit what you should do in the school,’ he said. And so she did.

The answer came as she read Pete Greig’s book about 24-7 Prayer, ‘Dirty Glory’, which mentioned Prayer Spaces in Schools. Marita got in touch with the 24-7 Prayer team in Switzerland and from there she began planning her first prayer space.

‘The peace in the prayer space was strong, and even people who didn’t believe in God could feel that,’ she told us. ‘The student’s behaviour improved in the prayer space and many deep conversations were had. One of the students sat in front of a mirror for a while and read the words ‘you are loved’. It was encouraging to see the students being still and reflecting. Some students said it was their best experience of religion and another student wrote they prayed for the first time and it felt really good.’

‘One of the philosophy teachers was sceptical at first, but he was so impressed with the response of the students that he now wants the prayer space to run every year, and also in other schools in the village. The Headteacher told us that he was a former student at the school and he remembers the room being used every week for a service and now it’s being used for a prayer space. He firmly believes that many of the students got through their exams because of the prayers that our group have prayed.’

Watch a short video of Marita and team in the Gossau prayer space. (Video produced by Adrian Ledergerber)

Article by Laura Thornborough