The planners of the soon-to-be-erected Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer in Birmingham, U.K., say that it will be visible from as far as 5 miles—but in reality, the massive monument to the hope of Jesus can inspire seekers around the world through the wonders of modern technology.
Designed to tangibly display answered prayers from Christians across the globe, the Möbius strip, or infinity loop, structure will be almost 170 feet tall, the equivalent to 14 stories. At a width of 80 meters, it will span three-quarters of the length of a football field.
“The idea behind Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer has always been to build a crowd-created piece of public art that will make hope visible,” says wall project founder Richard Gamble on Australia-based radio station Salt 106.5. “We’re not building this landmark to have something nice to look at. We’re building a community-focused structure that carries a legacy. Generations in hundreds of years’ time will see it and be inspired.”
Slated for completion in April 2026, Eternal Wall will feature one million white bricks, each representing an individual answered prayer. “Every single one of the million bricks will represent stories of answered prayer to make hope visible to all who see this landmark,” Gamble says. “One individual’s answered prayer can be another person’s hope. The hope is that these stories will point them to the God who answers.”
Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer is uniquely modern in its phone-friendly design. Answered prayers will be digitally linked to a specific location on the structure. Monument visitors can download an app and then simply point their phones at the structure to virtually discover individual answered prayers in audio, video or written format.
Nineteen years ago, Gamble gained inspiration for the project while participating in another religious experiment. During Easter of 2004, Gamble carried a cross around Leicestershire to remind people to think about Jesus.
Ten years later, after praying about the idea, Gamble says he experienced a nudge from the Holy Spirit to begin the monument’s preparation. In the last decade, hundreds of partnerships have occurred to make his dream a reality.
The Royal Institute of British Architects hosted an architectural design competition that took three years. Snug Architects, a team of 17 construction professionals, won the competition with the infinity loop design. “It was clear to me from the beginning that this was the stand-out proposal. Its soaring sculptural form, meaningful elegant variety of spaces, and clever use of the site had the inspiring wow-factor to engage and enthrall visitors,” said Renato Benedetti, director of Benedetti Architects and chair of the RIBA judging panel.
The design for the Eternal Wall—to be built at the center of the U.K. just 90 miles from London—was inspired, fittingly, during a time of prayer, Snug’s website says. “The concept is a simple spark of inspiration, a Möbius Strip, a non-orientable surface which seemingly has no beginning or end,” the website says.
That feature of no beginning or end is “just like God,” according to the project’s official press release. The structure is mapped to fit the Golden Ratio, a ratio found throughout creation, “from the proportions of your body to the spirals of our galaxy. The astonishing thing is we did not design it to do this,” Snug says.
Providentially, while the ratio matched almost perfectly, percentages were a few percent off in several places. “We were particularly pleased that this mapping was not perfect …” Snug notes. “Nothing made by human hands is perfect after all … only God is perfect.”
The physical site will also feature a visitors center, café and bookshop, prayer room, chaplains on site, prayer gardens and an education center, but the Wall will be accessible any time by anyone around the world.
Online visitors can enter their specific challenges and then be redirected to accounts of individuals who submitted stories with their own experiences of similar scenarios.
“Visitors with a faith background and those without will be encouraged by the many testimonies of God’s faithfulness and perhaps even inspired to activate prayer in their own lives,” says the Eternal Wall’s official statement.
Currently the project is in the crowd-funding stage, with additional donations pledged. “It is also seeking to be the largest crowdfunded project in the UK,” says Paul Bulkeley, founder of design-winner Snug Architects, in an article for Faith in Business Quarterly. “The goal is that it is quite literally built from the faithfulness of Christians getting involved from across the Church.”
Gamble estimates the final cost to be over $20 million. Nearly 90 percent of the first phase’s cost has already been raised through crowd funding and private donors, according to Baptist Press.
“Every penny donated through this crowd-funder will go directly into building the Eternal Wall and create a people-driven place of hope.”
“We’ve had some fairly hefty donations already, but a lot of it will come from ordinary people giving small amounts,” Gamble told The Guardian.
To allow supporters and the curious to view the project underway and even be an active part of the unique endeavor, Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer will pause construction from September until early 2024. “If you haven’t visited us before, we would encourage you to take this opportunity to join us to walk the land and pray,” project officials say. “We will be hosting guests on the land during the months of September and October.”
Christians in over 85 countries have already submitted answered prayers, and forms are open online for the public to continue sharing their testimonies. In fact, 80,000 spots are open at present for answered prayers from the U.S.
Submissions will not phase out as new answers are submitted. “Each and every submission will be a permanent part of the project,” Gamble says. “We will keep collecting stories indefinitely. Once we hit a million, we will then move to putting two stories on each brick and so on. In effect, it will never end, collecting stories of answered prayer.”
The project is for what Gamble calls “the broad church.” Standards for submission are similarly broad. “The monument is a piece of public art about Jesus,” Gamble says. “The only criterion is that the prayer is to Jesus and that those who submit explain how they believe he has answered.”
On its website, Snug Architects sums up the ecumenical effort: “Our prayers were answered when we won the competition. Our hope now is that Eternal Wall will become a much-loved national monument that encourages millions and both deepens our nation’s understanding of, and engagement with, prayer.”