A Great Refreshing
Recently I attended my first all night prayer meeting which came at the end of a long, tiring and frustrating week. Nonetheless, the nine hours of worship with the other believers was more refreshing than any nine hours of sleep that I had ever experienced.
I left with a smile on my face and a song in my heart, but most of all I was eager to try out one of the methods that a pastor had spoken on just a few hours before. Preaching from 2 Chronicles chapter 20 verses 1-30, he fleshed out a five point plan in the event that we should ever find ourselves in a predicament, these were the five Ps, based on the account of Jehoshaphat and the army in the passage.
The Five Ps
Jehoshaphat's predicament arose when he had been presented with the news that a great army was coming up against the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Based on the passage, his reaction to this was to pray, and although I am not sure whether or not this is what he did immediately after hearing the news, I smiled upon reading it, as I imagined how different my initial response would be.
Following this, Jehoshaphat received a prophecy which came from a man named Jahaziel who began to prophesy when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. The fact that this prophecy came from someone else was a great lesson to me because I have often prayed about situations in order to seek God's will but grew tired of waiting, and based on emotions provided my own personal prophecy.
The fourth P was praise, which was what the people of Judah and Jerusalem did directly after the prophecy and even before the battle, worshipping in complete faith. Finally, the provision came as the Lord caused the opposing army to become confused and destroy one another. After which the people spent three days picking up the plunder.
Out in the Field
With the fives Ps cemented in my mind, I left the venue with some friends and had not yet made it to my room, when a phone call from home began the long line of predicaments that befell me that week.
Nonetheless, I began to praise and received daily prophecies from the word, which were given to me by friends and in the form of seemingly random verses in group chats on WhatsApp.
By the middle of the week each situation had worsened; yet I kept faith. But as though that was not enough, exam stress coupled with my duties as friend and mentor began to weigh on me. In the midst of my exhaustion I tried to sing worship songs but became distracted by my many other obligations. Somehow I had made the decision that I did not need to read the word because I was doing so much of God's work on a daily basis, I had also returned to beginning my day with mumbled prayers as I drifted in and out of sleep.
However, I was proud of myself because of the numerous good works that I was doing, yet without realising it I had begun to do the work of God in my own strength and was simply patting myself on the back as a consolation prize.
When I finally came to the stage of complete burn out, I crawled back to God who at the time seemed so distant. I wondered if it was because I was becoming frustrated with some of the people that he sent me to help, and abandoning the concept of loving my neighbour as myself in many other aspects of my life. How could I have so blatantly abandoned the original source of my strength, after all I had heard and experienced at the meeting less than a week ago?
The Two Greatest Commands
A reply to this baffling question came as I spoke to my mother about the trials and the discoveries of my week, and she calmly responded, "When you love God, you do His will in love and so it is not a burden to you." That was when I realised that I had not only tried to do God's work in my own strength but I had also broken His two greatest commands. Which are to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbours as ourselves.
As I pondered on my actions, I remembered the words of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 3, "If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing."
These heavy convictions led me to repent and marvel at all that God had revealed to me in the short space of one week.
Danielle Jones was born on the beautiful island of Barbados to phenomenal parents. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in Drama as a part of a joint programme between the University of the West Indies, Mona and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. She hopes to speak fluent Spanish someday, do global missionary work and spread the love of Christ.
Danielle Jones' previous articles m ay be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/danielle-jones.html