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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)

TITLE: United in Praise
By Patricia Todd


United in Praise

Early morning is not my best time of day but I remember those early mornings as being something special.
It was 1974 and a small group of us from different denominations and backgrounds had just been called by God to form the community at the Christian Renewal Centre, Rostrevor in Northern Ireland. What a motley crew we were! A former university chaplain, his wife and family, a young couple, an elderly man and lady and two girls in our twenties. We were unrelated and, for the most part, hadn't known each other before we came together. God had called us to be there at the start of this wonderful work of prayer, renewal and reconciliation. We had no script to follow. This was a completely new work and experience for us.
From the beginning we had a community time of praise, worship and waiting on the Lord in prayer first thing in the morning. We often started with one or two songs of worship and, as we had no musical instruments, I would often start the singing. It wasn't marvellous singing. I think we were often off-key but we praised God as best we could. We also read from His Word and listened to what He had to say to us in the silence. We prayed for those who had asked for our prayers and for the situation in Ireland. In 1974 “the troubles” were bringing daily heartache to so many people.
Through these times of praise and worship in the mornings and again in the evenings God bound us together into His body in that place ad enabled us to live and work together for Him. He also provided for all our needs as we were completely dependent on Him for our finances. I believe that without these times of worshiping God together we would not have been able to work in harmony and would have lacked the power to carry out the work that God had for us to do. Our lives and the lives of so many other people would have been the poorer.
One very special time of praise and worship comes to mind. It was not long after we had gone to Rostrevor and was the occasion on which we had our first gathering of local people and others from further afield who had come to join us in praise and worship and in praying for us in the work that God had called us into. The entrance hall and the room beside it were packed with people on what was a beautiful August day. God gave me a new song and, following my leading, we all began to sing with all our hearts:-

We are gathering together unto Him,
We are gathering together unto Him,
Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be,
We are gathering together unto Him.

And we lift our hands in union unto Him,
And we lift our hands in union unto Him,
Unto Him whose love redeems us and sets us free
And we lift our hands in union unto Him.

And we all rejoice together one in Him,
And we all rejoice together one in Him,
One in Jesus who is Lord and ruler over all
And we all rejoice together one in Him.

What a day that was! God was breaking down the barriers and uniting us as one body in Him. It was just the start of the wonderful things He had in store for us and of what He would accomplish through us as we praised and worshiped Him.

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Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw10/11/07
Worship & praise definitely unifies believers if we're all one in purpose while doing it. Refreshing story. Would love to see the paragraphs double-spaced to make it easier to read.

Your story makes me want to "gather at the river." :)
Jan Ackerson 10/12/07
I definitely wanted to read more, especially about how your little group percieved "the troubles". You had lots of words left--more atmosphere would be great. Make us FEEL Ireland in your writing.
Joanne Sher 10/12/07
Sounds like a wonderful experience. I was definitely drawn in. I would love to see a bit more detail of what is going on (maybe a touch more "showing" rather than "telling."). Keep writing!