During our trip to the Dominican Republic, our IMPACT team was given an amazing opportunity to test/exercise our faith in God. We were told of a young man named Jonathan who had become very sick and nobody could figure out what was wrong with him. His last medical hope was to have bloodwork done in the United States, but this was too expensive for his family.
As a team of mostly teenagers, we weren't prepared to offer a donation to the family, but we were more than ready to spend time in prayer for him. The team spent a few minutes listening for God's direction on who the right people were to go visit Jonathan and who should stay behind at the church in Guanabano and pray for him. We sent several students on the visit and the rest of us began what was probably the longest stretch of prayer most of us have ever experienced.
We sat in a circle most of the time, pleading with God to heal Jonathan. Some people read scripture. Some sang songs. Many were on their knees and even flat on the floor crying out for a miracle.
We had no idea how much time it would take for the group to return from visiting Jonathan, but we didn't really care either.
At what turned out to be about halfway through our prayer time, the prayers began to change. We started sensing a strong desire for Jonathan to give his life to Christ. We were confident that physical healing had taken place and now we began asking for spiritual healing.
I still don't know how long we were in there, but the time went quickly and at some point we started worshiping Jesus with songs. In the middle of one of our songs, the rest of our team walked back into the church with the most amazing smiles I've ever seen. They confirmed what we were already confident of - Jonathan had been healed!
Then, as if they knew exactly what we had been praying for, they told us that he had also accepted Jesus as his savior!
It was an overwhelming experience and all we could do was worship more. So, the photo at the top of this post is a look at pure worship. Worship that's not part of a church service. Worship that's not planned or scripted. It's worship that happened because it felt like the only thing we could possibly do.
I long for more times of pure worship. I long for more answered prayer. I long for more miracles.
God longs for those things too, I'm sure.