My first inner response was that I was exhausted and on holidays. I didn't think I had anything left to successfully drag myself to a prayer and worship time. I am easily distracted and struggle when stressed and exhausted. Blah, who can be bothered.
The Prayer of Faith in James chapter 5 verse 13 states, "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise."
Then I realised how silly my response sounded and just how quickly I thought of it. What better time to drag myself towards God! Kicking and screaming if necessary. Reverently, humbly, angrily, guilty or ashamed if you like. So I threw myself in, "YES, I'LL BE THERE!"
I have always admired the faith, worship and prayer of the islanders. After a short term mission trip to the Solomon Islands in 2010, I was moved by the people and their country. When I attended part of the 'Awakening the Nations' conference that was hosted there during my visit I saw government and church leaders standing together to agree to run the country with God's guidance.
A remarkable event. I also witnessed one of my Islander friends crying to God for his country, on his knees before his King pleading for mercy on behalf of his fellow people.
That evening I took myself to prayer and worship. Immediately upon entering the room, my heart leapt at the opportunity in front of me. The 3 part natural harmony of the islanders and their heartfelt love and faith in their Lord stirred my soul.
This was exactly where I needed to be. God ministered to me where I was at. I smiled as I sensed everyone in the room was wholeheartedly involved in the moment.
The next morning the Solomon Islands team were up at 4am praying, and at 5am the sweet sounds of their worship flowed through the open window into our bedroom. I opened my eyes and smiled. Possibly the only time I've been okay with opening my eyes at 5am..
A touch of heaven?
Matthew chapter 11 verse 28 says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Jesus says this and he certainly means it. I definitely experience it. Not just on this occasion, but time and time again, he proves himself to me. Time and time again I forget just how much he loves me and wants me free.
Belinda Croft lives in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with husband Russell and sons Brandon and Ardon. She has a passion for God, writing, creativity, missions and social justice.
Belinda Croft's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html