to a place of solace and sanctuary
And allow a shield of strength to protect you from distraction - despair
And experience your pulse rate dropping without taking your blood pressure medication
Likened to the precious "moments" spent alone with one you love more than all
You saints, you leaders of this flock to the grazing fields and enjoy the sweetness that comes from an intentional appointment with your heavenly Father and LORD
This was something I posted for the prayer room at TMI a few years back and there has been a prayer room each year for the delegates and faculty, providing a dedicated space for them to be alone with God and enjoy the place of silence in an otherwise busy environment. It was also placed there for the purpose of showing the importance of a prayer discipline in light of other skills being developed at a territorial music and arts camp.
As we come away to pray it is another form of our personal worship. We need to come away because we are distracted and it is sometimes hard to truly experience the silence that comes with prayer. Andrew Hill, in his book, Enter His Courts with Praise - Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church, states the following:
"The silence of worship is equally as important as the noise (sound) of worship. Silence takes the worshiper out of time and into God's eternity - "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10). Silence is valuable in Christian worship because it is disturbing, arresting. We feel uncomfortable, helpless; we are no longer in control. Silence heightens our communication with God because it provides a framework for hearing His word."
All over the territory people are experiencing the 24/7 Prayer Initiative whereby corps have designated a week of 24/7 prayer inside their corps, their houses of prayer. The stories are pouring into my office and we are so encouraged of how the Holy Spirit is lighting His fire as each corps goes to prayer.
What people are discovering is that this stillness before the Lord was at first a bit unnerving. They were uncertain about many things: how could they pray for such a long period, what do they pray about, how would they stay awake if they were to pray in the middle of the night to keep the prayer chain unbroken till the morning hours, how they felt unworthy or ill-equipped for this great task of prayer.
Prayer, communication with our loving Lord, is a vital, non-negotiable aspect of our worship and as these people have engaged in this 24/7 prayer they have gone to the deeper place of their relationship, their personal worship and with fantastic results! God has given them a great sense of His presence and because they allowed themselves to be uncomfortable, helpless and no longer in control, the Lord has heightened their spiritual senses and it has ‘provided a framework of hearing His word.' What an exciting notion to simply block off time to be alone with One who knows you intimately and to come away from that experience more in love with Jesus and compelled to pray more and to know more about Him. In that time of prayer He reveals to an even greater extent just how much He loves us and loves the world for which He died. It is in those moments we are strengthened in our spirit to truly never leave His presence and to experience that praying without ceasing throughout our day.
So come away, be still and know Him.
(If your corps desires to sign up for a 24/7 prayer week, please do not hesitate to schedule your time. Call Jude Gotrich at (404) 832-3787 or e-mail at Jude_Gotrich@uss.salvationarmy.org)