Oral Roberts Prayer Tower
The Oral Roberts Prayer Tower in Tulsa is a powerful magnet for those seeking spiritual shock therapy -- or fundamentalist fun. This "20th Century Cross", with a stylized crown of thorns and an outer skeleton of plastic PVC pipes (you can still see the printed specs scrawled on them), offers visitors a heavenly view of Oral Roberts University. A recording of Oral's son Richard in the observation deck reveals its construction philosophy: "No second-class buildings for God."
One highlight of the deck is the door to Oral's special prayer room. Visitors are asked to submit prayer requests (the envelopes are paper-money-size) and told how Oral scatters them, hundreds at a time, across the carpeting and furniture. When he waves his arms over the envelopes, the Prayer Tower's elevation combines with Oral's direct line to God to help get those prayers answered.
The Prayer Tower also rewards the faithful with a startling vision -- the Journey of Faith sound-and-light extravaganza.
Here, the well-heeled healer shares his life story with the not-so-chosen people in six separate soundproof rooms. You begin on Oral's dusty childhood porch as Oral's father, a preacher himself, rants in the background. "Heal my neighbor's child," he commands, "and I will give You my own son!" The music swells: "Duh duh duh duhhhhh!"
Next, schoolchildren taunt Oral for his funny name -- and he collapses during a basketball game with tuberculosis! "All we can do is let the illness run its course," sighs a secular doctor, but God has other plans. A light begins to glow in Oral's bedroom. "God?" he wheezes. "Heal me...and I'll give my life to You!" Minutes later, Oral exclaims: "I can BREATHE! I can feel the ILLNESS leaving my BODY!"