I heard a story recently from a woman in Mozambique. Heidi was visiting the United Kingdom when one of her (many) children called from their village and said, “MOM! MOM! THEY ARE BOMBING US!” She said, “We aren’t at war!” and the child explained that he didnt know what happened, but missiles were leveling houses and churches. She could hear explosions in the background. “RUN FOR COVER, QUICKLY!” This is the best part. The little boy says, “MOMMA! THIS IS the PERFECT time to worship God!” “What?!” “Yeah, when will we ever be in this situation again? God will see us worship Him while we are all in danger and pain from these explosions…maybe we will never have another chance like this worship him in THIS situation”.
An artillery factory or something similar had exploded and many people were dead by the end, but none of them were Heidi’s family members or friends. They worshipped together as far as they could from the blasts.
So I thought to myself: “Self, every time you are having the worst day imaginable, or maybe you lose your keys or get stuck in traffic or have a horrible cold sore on your lip, or you miss home or your stomach hurts or you have to pay taxes or work is sucking the life out of you or the guy you like will NEVER be interested..THAT IS THE PERFECT TIME TO WORSHIP GOD!” Maybe i’ll never again get an opportunity to worship God while brokenhearted or locked out of my house.
I was planning on preparing either a video or longer message on why prayer is so important to people in difficult situations. Not as a “pray for people with cancer” (though we should), but rather as an action/weapon/privilege sick people or vulnerable people have no matter what. For example, I know of a sweet woman who is nearby dying of AIDS and she was doing much worse recently when she didn’t have any reason to go on living anymore. It was important that she heard the message: “YOU CAN PRAY!!! God hears you and we need pray-ers!” Now she has something she can do for the Kingdom.
In the same way that prayer changes things, PRAISE heals us, glorifies God and advances the Kingdom. I challenge us all to worship Him even when we do not feel like it (probably the ideal time to do it, since who knows if you’ll ever get that chance again)—and to trust that He already knows our requests before we bring them to Him. I am not suggesting that we should stop praying–but I am suggesting that spending 80% of the time in praise to God would be an amazing way to deepen our own times of reflection. Praise is not a thank you, but is an acknowledgment of who God is.