Are times of personal, individual worship a regular part of your spiritual experience? Do you draw strength from this kind of interaction in your “alone time” with the LORD?
The corporate worship we enjoy with other Christians can be powerful and meaningful occasions of adoring the LORD together. Those of us, for example, on the DPM–USA staff get to enjoy those corporate blessings on a weekly basis in our prayer gatherings.
But I’m talking about something else — the times when it’s just you and the LORD alone. Those occasions when you get to tell Him in a person-to-Person setting how wonderful He is, how grateful you are, and how much you adore Him.
Moments like these can produce some of the most meaningful spiritual fruit in our lives. It can become the very air we breathe.
Times of one-on-One worship can come at unexpected moments. It happened to me recently in a strange setting — when I was seriously ill with the flu.
One of the symptoms I was battling was a persistent bronchial cough that kept waking me throughout the night. To counteract the coughing jag, I would get up and smear eucalyptus oil on my chest and throat. Then I would sit upright on the edge of the bed with a quilt tented over my head, breathing in the eucalyptus fumes to get some relief.
One night at about four in the morning, as I was applying this remedy, the words of a worship song from the early 1970s came strongly to me, and they played over and over again in my mind: “Lift your hands for He is holy; worship Him in Spirit and truth. For His face is like the sun, the LORD of covenant.”
Right there beneath my quilt tent, with that wonderful song filling my mind, I decided to do what the song prescribed: I lifted my hands in worship to the LORD of covenant.
I’m sure I was a strange sight, sitting under a quilt in a pitch-black room with my hands lifted to the LORD in silent worship. But it became a holy moment.
My cough and cold didn’t magically disappear in that moment, nor was I instantly healed. But this encounter with the LORD made a huge difference in how I felt. Even more, I knew the LORD was pleased with my obedience. In that instant, He became the very air I breathed.
After that unusual experience, I took some time to study examples of individual worship in the Word. It quickly became apparent to me that these kinds of occurrences took place all throughout the Bible — even at unlikely times.
In Exodus 34:8, enveloped in God’s presence, “Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.”
Elkanah and Hannah, after hearing the promise of a son who would be born to them, worshiped together (1 Samuel 1:19). Verse 28 says they worshiped again after dedicating Samuel: “as long as he lives, he shall be lent to the LORD.”
And what worship it was, as we read Hannah’s adoration of the LORD in 1 Samuel 2:1–10!
Gideon worshiped in the enemy’s camp after overhearing that he was the “loaf of barley bread” who would roll over the Midianites.
“And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped” (Judges 7:15).
His adoration had to be silent for him to remain undetected; nonetheless, Gideon worshiped the LORD.
At Difficult Times
What was David’s response in 2 Samuel 12:20 to the news that the child of his adulterous union with Bathsheba had died?
“So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.”
In a similar way, when Job was informed of the death of his children, he “arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped” (Job 1:20).
Jacob worshiped as he faced his own death, as Hebrews 11:21 tells us:
“By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.”
It doesn’t have to be a personal crisis, challenge, or tragedy that prompts you and me to worship the LORD.
As a father, I can testify that some of the most moving moments in my life have come when one of my kids has spontaneously crawled up into my lap, leaned on my chest, and said, “You’re a good dad.”
It’s even more profound when they say those same words when they are fully grown. And when the grandkids do it, it’s the absolute best.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would stay sensitive to opportunities in our “alone times” to tell the LORD how much He means to us?
Later in this letter, I will suggest a prayer you and I can use to do just that: to tell Him He is the air we breathe.
I know for certain that there were many significant moments in Derek Prince’s life when he experienced the type of individual worship we are discussing here — in both good times and difficult times such as the passing of his second wife, Ruth.
At Ruth’s burial in 1998, standing in front of her open grave, Derek worshiped the LORD publicly, declaring:
“Father, I trust You. I thank You that You are always kind. You are always kind and loving and just. You never make a mistake. What You do is always the best.”
Clearly, this was a profound moment in Derek’s life.
In the following excerpt from Update 88, a personal testimony Derek Prince recorded in June 1999, he repeats his words at Ruth’s grave with some added reflections.
In a time of crisis and testing, I like to check on my own personal relationship with the LORD.
I like to ask myself, “Do I love Him?” My answer is: Yes. “Am I called?”
My answer is: Certainly I am. “Am I walking according to His purpose?” I really believe I am.
Therefore, whether I can understand it or not, whether I know what God is doing, I know He is working all these things together for good to me. And that is all I really need to know. Other things will fall into their place in due course.
At the burial service for Ruth in the German colony in Jerusalem, I was standing in front of the open grave looking down on Ruth’s casket before they filled the earth in.
I felt prompted to cry out, “Father, I trust You. I thank You that You are always kind. You are always kind and loving and just. You never make a mistake. What You do is always the best.”
That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life and it was also one of the best.
I realize now, looking back that at that point, I had come to a fork in the highway of my life. I could have gone one of two ways. I could have become bitter and complained. I could have cried out to God, “Why did you take Ruth? You know how much I needed her. You were the one who joined us together.”
I could have in some way blamed God. But I didn’t do that. I just decided to trust God and believe that He did what was best for both Ruth and for me.
Looking back, I see that I took the right fork in the road — which was to trust Him, to praise Him, to believe Him, and not to doubt or question Him. Not to challenge Him. Not to call into question His goodness.
A Worship Prayer
Once again, we don’t have to wait for a moment of crisis or challenge to bring us into an experience of one-on-One worship. In fact, our best option would be to stay poised at all times to incorporate this practice in our alone times with Jesus.
What might that look like?
In the suggested prayer below, I have incorporated a rather unusual passage from the Old Testament in which the LORD Himself lists some of His own attributes that should be the basis for our worship of Him.
(Wouldn’t it make sense to follow the LORD’s example in this?)
In Exodus 34:6–7, as the LORD is passing before Moses, He proclaims these words:
“The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.”
Let’s use these and other words of adoration as we pray together:
Dear LORD, I worship You right now. There is no one like You.
You have been so kind to me, so gracious, so merciful, and so forgiving. You have poured out blessings upon me that I really didn’t deserve. You have loved me with an everlasting, unconditional love.
I just want to lift my hands in worship and praise to You. You are holy. You are righteous, perfect, and just. Thank You for pouring out Your grace in my life.
You are the LORD, the most holy God—merciful and gracious, longsuffering, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness, goodness, and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.
I praise You with my whole being. I worship You and I adore You—my King, my LORD, and my Savior. Amen.
Growing in Worship
You and I may have previously said a similar prayer to the one we just offered. But every time we say these words to the LORD, drawing near to Him in this kind of intimate, personal worship, it is a life-changer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful and appropriate for such expressions to become a more regular part of our worship?
If DPM can help in the process of increasing such times in your life, it would make us very happy.
You and I need ongoing encouragement in this important area, and such help often comes in the form of solid biblical teaching.
As you know, that kind of teaching is readily available for you here at Derek Prince Ministries.
Why not start by downloading the “Update 88” message containing Derek’s quote? We know it will bring added inspiration.
Teaming up with you is a great blessing to us. You have been so generous with your prayers and financial involvement, and we want you to know how much that means to us.
Thank you for every prayer and every gift. You are making a tremendous difference!
Worth It All
It seems apparent that in order for me to have written this particular letter, it was necessary for me to experience my recent battle with the flu.
(Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the experience of one-on-One worship under the quilt that inspired this letter.)
Let me simply say that if this letter has been meaningful to you, and has added a vital component to your spiritual life, it has been eminently worthwhile.
In fact, even as I write this, I am still having those nightly sessions under the quilt. In the midst of all the coughing and hacking, I am being reminded of a very important truth: He is indeed the air I breathe.
Listen now online!
All the best,
P.S. Once again, we send you our love and thanks for your partnership with us. We deeply appreciate your prayers and your gifts. Please don’t forget to download week one of “How to Be Led by the Holy Spirit.” We know it will encourage you.
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.