Dancing in the House of Prayer
We must not let form or structure, rules or learned procedures hinder our prayer life or keep us from communicating with our Heavenly Father. The point is that we drop everything and fall on our knees before our Creator. Perfectly worded prayers are not what God is looking for. The truth is, He doesn’t even need words to know our inner thoughts or the depth of struggles we have hidden inside. Sometimes in prayer, we can be caught up with our own words or stuck because we don’t know what to say. Today, let’s skip over those things that are holding us back and push through whatever is hindering us from excepting Jesus’ invitation to come to Him.
Let’s look at the invitation Jesus gave us in Matthew 11:28-30 MSG:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
When I was in college we had a small building on campus called the H.O.P., also known as the House Of Prayer. Sometimes I would go there to get away and spend uninterrupted time with the Lord, and often I would be the only one there. I remember one of these times, I went to pray because I was struggling with my attitude. I was feeling very homesick and discouraged. Everything that could go wrong, was going wrong on this particular day. Finally, I decided I needed a timeout for a few minutes in the H.O.P. I didn’t feel like praying, but I took my bad attitude and entered the small room anyway. I started on my knees, just pouring out all my feelings to the Lord. I’m not sure how long I was on my knees, but at some point I began to dance joyfully around the room praising God. Little did I know, there were 2 people praying together in one of the side prayer closets! They came out as I was dancing and scolded me for not being respectful and maintaining an attitude of prayer while I was in there. I was so shocked to discover I wasn’t alone, I did not know what to say, but I knew I was not being disrespectful. I had not planned to sing and dance around the room, and the frame of mind I had been in before wouldn’t have allowed it anyway.
I find that as I take time to purposefully turn to Jesus, I am able to hide myself in Him. I am able to dwell in the shelter and safety of His presence, and after telling Him all about what’s troubling me, I begin to feel the release of my burdens. Somehow, the presence of Jesus and the time He takes to listen to everything on my mind changes everything, and a new song of praise and thanksgiving begins to stir in me! As I act on the thanksgiving that is filling my heart, I am able to join God’s song of deliverance, and release His power and victory into my life in a greater magnitude.
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalms 32:7 NASB