Wednesday, January 27, 2010
An Experience with the Beauty of Holiness
It always intrigues me to observe how the Holy Spirit weaves a theme when people pray together with unified purpose.
Today, three friends and I met to pray for local government and church leaders in our city. The theme that developed was holiness: the beauty of God's holy presence, and holiness expressed through His people. One friend prayed for holiness to be more evident in the church. Another prayed that we would see God's face. A third praised God for His beauty.
We interceded on behalf of various groups -- pastors, worship leaders, small group teachers -- then, toward the end of our session, we came to a place of unusual silence. It was not the silence of the "heaviness" of God's presence, not the kind that hushes you with awe. It was a pause indicating a shift was coming.
So we chose to start reading and praying Scripture, starting with Revelation 5, a chapter that describes worship around the throne room of God.
Verse 5 reads,
"In a loud voice they sang:
'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!'"
Though we didn't sing the words, we did read loudly -- more loudly than usual.
Then Carol turned to Psalm 99 and prayed verse 9.
'We exalt you, LORD our God
and worship at Your holy mountain,
for the LORD our God is holy.'
Sometimes we read in unison, sometimes one of us prayed a passage we'd noticed. The more we read, the stronger our voices grew. It was as if God's Spirit was fanning glowing embers into a fire. I felt I was getting a shot of joy. I listened and participated as we prayed excerpts from the Psalms.
From time to time, two of us would start praying the same Scripture and we would laugh in joy and astonishment. God seemed to say, 'Yes, I am holy, and I will guide your praise. I will show you my delight and bless you as you praise Me.'
We asked... and we had an experience with the Beauty of Holiness.
For Your Consideration:
Will you share with me some nugget of your experience with the "Beauty of Holiness?"
What characteristics of God might be displayed when the Holy Spirit fans corporate prayer, using one prayer to inform or ignite another.
Why not take a literal 30 - 60 seconds to praise the Beauty of Holiness and get a fresh experience of God's delight?
I found that picture at www.renovare.us, a great site for spiritual formation resources.