“Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me”.
Ps 66:16 NIV
Time and time again in Christian communities the personal testimony of one person has had a powerful effect on the whole community. Someone tells of a prayer being answered. Someone else tells of a healing miracle they never expected. Someone else tells of employment obtained, or of a family rift healed, or the resolution of a difficult problem, or a strained relationship restored. People who hear the story find their spirits lifted, their faith deepened, and the sense of community beefed up. They think, “God is really at work here, Hallelujah”.
The early verses of Psalm 66 represent the call on the whole community to praise and thank God in corporate acts of worship. Now the writer turns and tells the community, “Let me tell you what God has done in my life”. This is far more powerful and effective than recalling the age-old stories of what God had done centuries before with their forefathers.
In the corporate worship of your Christian community, allow for and make use of people’s personal experiences of how God has acted in their lives. Such a telling often enables the Spirit to move in the body and prompts others to open themselves to what God seeks to do. One heart on fire for Christ can often set others on fire as well. And a skilled worship leader will be able to relate the theme of the worship service to the personal story of the worshippers. He, or she, will be able to integrate people’s personal stories into prayers, and Christ will be present to speak to people’s inner hearts.
Lord, speak to others through the personal experiences of one or more of your disciples.