His Presence As I Worship

Years ago, I had some responsibility that required me to speak from the pulpit (probably making an announcement or saying a prayer). Before it was my turn, the congregation was led in some hymns. I was standing there on the platform and starting to sing along with the congregation when I suddenly had no breath to sing – in fact, I could hardly breathe. I don’t remember the hymn, but I do remember the moment. Coming right at me, the sound of hundreds of voices being lifted up in enthusiastic and joyful praise to our Almighty God – I was overwhelmed! I could sense the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in that place – as if God was saying to me, “My child, THIS is what worship sounds like! THIS is what I hear in the heavenly realms – a thousand times over!” 

There is an old hymn that reminds me of that moment – maybe you have your moment too:

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
I can feel God's mighty power and God's grace.
I can hear the brush of angel's wings,
I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.



It should not be unusual to sense the presence of the Holy Spirit when we worship together as a congregation. But there are other times when we may be aware of His presence in a different kind of worship setting – as you worship quietly in your heart in the hospital waiting room as God’s Holy Spirit gives you peace, as you worship in a funeral service so uplifting you feel as if you’re escorting the dear departed right through the gates of heaven – or even worshiping in the morning as you get ready for your day listening to “10,000 Reasons for My Heart to Sing.”

Father, help us not to be distracted by the world and its concerns – or even by our own wandering thoughts – so much that we fail to experience the presence of Your Holy Spirit in worship – whether we’re worshiping together as the Body of Christ – or totally alone with a prepared and grateful heart. Thank you for the gift of Your Holy Spirit living in us. Amen.

By Judy Shrout

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