The prayer that changed me
Hello blog readers,
Each morning after I drop my son off at school, I sit inside my car, in the garage.. and spend a few moments with God. It’s amazing what He can do in a few moments. I look forward to this time of quiet rest before I go inside to get ready for work. This morning He reminded me of a prayer I prayed that changed the course of my life. At the time, I was only asking for a temporary accommodation. But He gave me something much bigger and better. He gave me the boldness and desire to worship Him.
Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
A little over a year ago, I visited a church in Douglasville, Georgia called RainFire Church. I will always have a special place in my heart for RainFire, and for pastor Joanne Condrey. It’s the first church I ever joined — even though I live nearly 5 hours away. I first learned about RainFire through the internet. I did a google search for the Pastor’s name, because I kept hearing songs on Pandora that she sang, and I really liked them. I had no idea she was a pastor. I started watching — and thoroughly enjoying the sermons that she posted on youtube. One of the things I noticed was the worship atmosphere. There was no holding back, and even through the computer screen, I could feel something wonderful as I worshiped from home. I wanted to experience being in that church during worship, so I planned a trip to Georgia for a special 2-day service with Joanne’s father, Pastor Nahum Rosario. I was so excited to attend this service. When I got to the church, I prayed in the parking lot — because I never felt comfortable worshiping in front of anyone. I was self-conscious about looking awkward, or being judged by others. So I asked God, to help me to worship Him unashamed during the church service. I had driven 5 hours to participate, and I didn’t want to miss out on experiencing true worship, unashamed with a house full of people who did the same. I asked for boldness to worship Him, no matter what anyone thought of me. I asked Him to help me break through my fear so that I could honor Him with worship from my heart. And then.. I went inside.
The service was wonderful. During worship, I felt awkward but I said to myself, “You’re going to do this. Lift your arms, and God will meet you there.” So I lifted my arms, and sang praises. It wasn’t easy for me to not be concerned with what I must have looked like — but the longer my arms were raised, the easier it became. By the time I left that night, I couldn’t imagine ever *not* worshiping God again. I fell in love with worshiping Him. He gave me a new spirit — one that adores Him, and loves to sing His praises. I came home a new person. Now on Sunday mornings, I’m wondering if I’m distracting other people when I worship. I know, I shouldn’t even think about that — but sometimes I do. Because I can’t sit through worship without singing loud, praising.. sometimes crying, loving, adoring, thanking, and giving all my heart to my Father. I was invited to join the church choir, a platform used to lead others in their worship. That amazes me. God took a woman scared to worship – and transformed me before placing me in a position to lead others in worship. And as I grow, I can feel how my heart and life is changing. Worship makes my faith stronger. There a connection made during worship. We pour out to God, and He pours into us. He blesses my soul. He strengthens my spirit when I worship. He reminds me of His love for me, and His faithfulness when I worship — which makes me love and adore Him more.
Satan knows the power of worship more than many can ever imagine — because he was in charge of worship in heaven before the fall of man. The enemy knows that if he can hinder your worship, you won’t experience the level of intimacy with God that is possible while you’re still here on Earth. I don’t know about you, but I could always use more God in my life. I need His love, wisdom, faith, healing, guidance every minute of every day. I’m so thankful to know Him. Worshiping Him has brought me closer to Him than I’ve ever felt in my life. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Thank you Father, for blessing me with a new heart and a new spirit that adores you, and loves to worship your Holy Name.