Anne Herridge

Sharing God's heart through poetry, prose and prayer

The Spirit of Praise

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)

Sunlight gently enveloped the room as I settled down to do some paperwork, soft instrumental music playing quietly in the background.  Although my mind was on business matters, it wasn’t long before I felt a stirring in my soul as a spirit of praise began to rise within me. Having a devotional moment was not at all what I had planned for that hour, but I suddenly became aware of a call to worship, an invitation to simply stop what I was doing and allow my spirit to praise God, with the sense that I wasn’t alone but in fact was joining worship that was part of something far greater, beyond the realm of this world!

As if impossible to resist, I found myself flinging down my pen and raising a hand in worship as the music seemed to take over. I had no words. I did not need them. Something else was going on, something deeper. Something holy. Something beyond me, the room, the sunlight, and the music – a connection to God’s presence which enveloped my spirit and breathed life and excitement into my soul like I have not known often enough. I was engaged with the heavenly realms, praising, and worshipping my heavenly Father, spirit to Spirit, without uttering a single word, aware of the greatness and majesty of God in all His glory as my spirit praised him in adoration, offering nothing but gratitude and love. Usually when I spend time with God, I have a list of needs to add to my praise, but not this time. This time was different. This time I had been called to worship, to simply appreciate and marvel at God’s worth and beauty and majesty!

I realized that words are not always needed in God’s presence. True worship takes place spirit to Spirit. Our Father already knows our heart and our needs. Those who cannot speak, whose minds are frail and who have lost their words do not need them to worship. I have shared many powerful, worshipful moments with seniors with dementia, who can no longer speak, but whose spirits are vibrant and intensely alive with the Holy Spirit. I have also shared many beautiful, inspiring, and worshipful moments with babies and toddlers who do not yet have words, for they too communicate spirit to spirit and seem especially aware of the heavenly realm. There have been times when I simply have not known which words to use in prayer. I have also seen people from different cultures and languages praising and worshipping together without universal understanding. The language of heaven crosses all barriers and boundaries. The Spirit of heaven surpasses all limitations and cannot be subdued by our lack of words or attention, by our human inability, frailty or indifference.

I want to encourage you today to respond when heaven calls. Take time to worship, even if you have no words or cannot speak, or do not know what to say. Our Father in heaven is worthy of praise and adoration.  Open your heart to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you in worship, for the Kingdom of heaven is much closer than you think!

Prayer: Father, please show me how to worship! I invite your Holy Spirit to come and infuse my soul with the spirit of devotion and adoration so that I may worship you in spirit and in truth. Show me how to not only embrace, but cultivate the atmosphere of heaven here on earth, so that you might be glorified. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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