Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Songs in the Night
The brisk evening mountain air fills my lungs as I leave the darkness behind and enter the blue florescent light of the small African church. In front of me sits a small group of young men and women, eyes closed tight and lips moving in muffled prayers. I silently slip into a wooden pew, setting my water bottle down on the dusty floor, and join the intercession. It's late on a Friday night, and we have gathered together to pray, sing, listen to the Word, praise, and worship 'til morning. One person starts to sing, and with one voice everyone calls back the response. The song of the believers fills me with joy, and I know that I am home. All through the night, we praise, dance, pray, and sing some more. Unexpectedly, I am asked to teach around 2 am, which I do only through the power and work of the Holy Spirit. When heavy eyelids threaten to close in sleep, we sing. and dance. and jump. and clap. and call aloud for the Lord to work in us. I join in singing all the songs I know, and laugh, clap, dance, and rejoice during the ones I don't. When the power goes off, and the fuel for the generator is spent, we walk down the path to join a neighboring church who is praying and worshiping that night as well. Two bodies of believers now join together before the Lord with their sacrifices of praise. The energy and joy permeates the air as I gaze at the faces of of those around me. As we finally slowly make our way home, my heart overflows with thanksgiving for the precious people who desire praise more than sleep, and prayer more than rest. May the Lord fill each one of us with that same passion, commitment, and longing for His glorious work to be done!