I love it when, early in spring, the skylarks start singing. These little birds hover high above you, producing such a torrent of song that you wonder where they draw breath. And they keep at it all through the summer. Even on rather dreary, drizzly days they start singing. How it changes the atmosphere! And when the sun’s shining, they give that extra lift to your spirit. There’s one field – quite an ordinary one – that’s always filled with their song in springtime. That’s what stops it being ordinary and makes it special.

We were walking through it a few days ago, marvelling at the skylarks’ music. I felt that God was reminding me how worship changes the atmosphere of a place.

We live in a cul-de-sac in our village, surrounded by about a dozen other homes. Because of the coronavirus pandemic we can’t have much communication with our neighbours. We do pray for them; but God was showing me that as we worship Him, the worship, like the skylarks’ song, changes the spiritual atmosphere of where we are.

Back in 1860, there was a remarkable revival in Tinevelly, South India. As people experienced the outpouring of the Spirit, ‘they were much pleased to praise God. Some uninstructed people gave out some songs and hymns that we had never heard before … and all the heathen marvelled, and came and saw and heard us with fearful minds’. That’s as it had been at Pentecost. As the disciples praised and worshipped God, a huge crowd was drawn to them. During the American revival in 1858, as ships drew near to the ports where the revival had taken hold, and God was being exalted, people on board were spontaneously brought to faith. In one ship the entire crew found Christ as they approached land.

In worship, as in revival, our holy God is enthroned on the praises of His people. What an opportunity staying at home these days gives us to enthrone Him, not at the moment in our church meetings, but in our local communities.

Prayer: Father, thank You for putting me in my local community. As I worship You today, please come and take Your place, enthroned on my praises. I ask that Your presence here will bring a tangible change to the spiritual atmosphere of where I live. I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus, who has triumphed over all the powers of darkness. Amen.

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You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Psalm 22:4, TLV


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Today's Writer

Richard Griffiths When Richard retired from full-time Anglican ministry in Chichester in 2009, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Northumberland. He joined the ministry team at Ellel Grange in 2011, where he and Sue regularly ministered at healing retreats. They are now helping on the "Explore" team. They greatly enjoy walking in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and along the coast. Richard loves seeing God bringing people into a strong personal relationship with Him as their Father and the healing that comes with it.

Richard Griffiths

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