It was a quiet I had not experienced in all my years in church. It was different from the kind of quiet where you write the shopping list in your head or hope someone would say something; anything. Just break the awkwardness please kind of quiet.
When they said, “Let’s go to the house of God,” my heart leaped for joy. Psalm 122:1
The small Welsh chapel stood at the bottom end of town, it wasn’t fancy but it was a well known landmark. When asked where one went to church, it was suffice to say, “Jerusalem.” They knew you didn’t mean the city in Israel.
Singing in tune is not a requirement to worship
It was common practice during prayer meetings for whoever felt led to start up a worship song; singing in tune or music was not a requirement, yet somehow it was usually a beautiful sound that lifted from the people up past the rafters on its way to heaven.
Different members would stand unprompted one after another bringing their requests before the Lord, while those around voiced their Amen and Yes Lord. A moment of silence between prayers and singing was an opportunity for the next person to stand and join their voice with those who had prayed before them.
This particular prayer meeting the silence was different. It had a sweet rest about it, I could feel myself relax as if bathed in peace. No one uttered a sound, no-one dared break the silence. It was beautiful. Without anyone explaining I knew I was in the presence of the Lord. I for one was not in a hurry to leave and it seemed neither was anyone else.
I don’t know how long we sat in the sweetness of His presence, in the quietness of His spirit, maybe it was only a few minutes. Time had lost its importance, all that mattered was being with Him.
One Thing Remains
Many years have passed since that prayer meeting, a lot of life has happened bringing with it changes. Yet, one thing remains the same and that is the sweet presence of the Lord.
So often we come before Him in prayer, a quick thank you to show our gratitude for who He is and what He has done before we unload our next list of needs ending with a quick ” In Jesus name” and an even quicker “Amen.” Then we run off to our next task having checked off our Quiet Time.
Worship requires us to be fully present in His presence
We enter the courts of the throne room with praise, not lip service, not even our favorite song if it is not offered from the heart. Once in that’s where worship takes over, that is when we are lost in adoration for the One who sits at the right hand of the Father; Jesus.
We cannot know the sweet rest of His presence, if we are not fully present in His presence. And we will never be fully present if we are in a hurry.
Slow down. Enter. Stay awhile.
Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.
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Photo Credit: Runner; Mitchell Orr, Unsplash. Starry Night: WordSwag.