“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7: 14)
On May 19, the Global Day of Prayer, Christians in almost every country will assemble to pray. Many will gather in prayer groups in homes, local churches, businesses and some may even assemble in large stadiums and other public venues. In some places television, radio and internet will help to connect and align our prayers in an even greater way.
Some time back, I visited a region in East Africa where the people had experienced a severe drought for several years; most of the water wells in that region were dry. Living Water International had drilled a deep well there about eight years earlier, and it was one of the few productive water wells in the entire region.
A very happy community with a new well
I was told that 30,000 people were getting water from that one well, and in addition to the people, the livestock and wild animals also got water there. The local people called it “The Miracle Well.” A missionary who was serving in that area told us that if it were not for that one well, there would probably be 30,000 dead people in the region.
Enormously gifted as a worship leader, yet living a secret life of addiction, Matt Tommey now uses his art as a way to connect with God and lead others into personal and creative wholeness.
“I grew up in the church under a Steinway piano,” says Matt Tommey, worship pastor, artist, author, and founder of The Worship Studio. At 13, living in Columbus, Georgia, he gave his heart to the Lord and answered a very early call into worship ministry.
As a young teenager, several traumatic events – his grandfather’s death, sexual abuse by a same-sex family member, and a deteriorating relationship with his father created a perfect storm of brokenness. Matt struggled for many years to overcome his inner distress, but succumbed to addiction and other unhealthy relational patterns.
During an emotion-filled evening of worship at the Vineyard church in Laguna Niguel, several photographs taken with a digital camera reveal some unusual effects.
“It seems like the angels are showing up more,” says Kathy Tanaka, a regular at the church. Her nine-year-old son Joshua took several photos with his new camera, which seem to show an angelic presence floating above his mother’s head. “My son just got his first camera, and he got a bunch of photos like that.”
Composers lament the same frustration as they attempt to avoid repetition in their music. After 2,000 years, the limits of the 12-tone scale leave musicologists with a hunger for something more.
“They have come to a dead end,” observes Anne Ortlund, the popular Christian author and speaker. For 15 years, Anne was the organist for Dr. Charles Fuller’s radio broadcasts. Her hymn “Macedonia” was chosen as the theme hymn at the World Congress on Evangelism in Berlin.
She believes the worship that Christians will experience in heaven will go beyond our imaginations – and outside the limits of our current musical scale.
“Day and night the host of heaven never cease crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who is, Who was, and Who is the come.” Rev 4:10
“Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne saying in a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.’” Rev 5:11,12
“Then I heard the voices of those in heaven, on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them, singing: ‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever.’” Rev 5:13
The worship of God is our highest calling. It is good to awaken each morning by releasing our hearts to God in adoration. What is cool is we can worship God in all we do. We can offer our praise to Him in worship. We can offer our work to Him as an act of worship. When we love we worship. When we pray we can worship. In fact, God has made it clear that a void exists in prayer when worship is not a part of it.