The following is a sample of a “Places of Prayer” entry for the prayerideas.org website That’s currently under construction. We will be inviting users to post places of prayer they have visited anywhere in the world.
Places of Prayer – Labyrinths – Montreat NC
Type of prayer place: Prayer Labyrinth
Description of the Place of Prayer: The Prayer Labyrinth at Montreat Conference Center (Presbyterian Church USA) is painted on the wooden floor of a gazebo on the mountainside on the edge of the 2,500 permanently protected acres of wilderness. The labyrinth itself is small and simple in design which adds to the peacefulness and meditative qualities.
How I used this place of prayer: We arrived late on a cold winter afternoon as the long shadows of the mountain were hiding the sunshine, so we only spent a few moments of briefly walking. Even without doing a thorough prayer pilgrimage on the labyrinth, simply standing in the center in quiet meditation helped us focus on God’s nearness.
Getting there: The Montreat Conference Center is located off I-40 on highway 9. Proceed through Black Mountain on 9. In Montreat we inquired at the Bookstore and Giftshop on Lake Susan and were given a map showing all of the sites in Montreat. The road to the labyrinth took us up Graybeard Trail towards the campground and picnic area where the road becomes gravel. We thought we were off track as we passed cabins and homes, but we eventually found a small parking area on the right for the hiking trails. Proceed on foot up the trail to the left of the road and take the trail around the small reservoir to the gazebo.
Hours of operation: Daylight
Admission fee if any: None.
Public or is use limited?: Public access.
Contact Information: Montreat Conference Center 800-572-2257 or www.montreat.org
About the sponsoring organization: The Montreat Conference Center has served the Presbyterian church for a century and receives 35,000 visitors a year. Their description is as follows: “Founded upon the ideal of renewal, both spiritual and physical, Montreat is a treasured sanctuary for rest, inspiration, education, and fellowship.”
Tips: Wear good walking shoes as there is a fairly steep climb up to the small reservoir. Also, dress appropriately for the weather. Parking is extremely limited, however I strongly recommend driving to the site as it is not within comfortable walking distance of the heart of the Conference Center and ascends a mountainside.
The type of person I think would most benefit from or enjoy this resource: All
Name of reviewer: Karen Barber