There was something special about the whole room. I knew it as soon as I entered. It was as if the presence of God was soaking through the actual walls. The tiny chapel was empty. I knelt down at the altar and waited.
I wasn’t really sure what to pray.
The heat from all of the incense candles that were flickering in the little space made the room smell oily and waxy.
Still I waited.
I was alone and yet I felt as though Jesus was there.
The Friars in Aylesford was my regular retreat place. Many chapels of different sizes and shapes filled the site, some with stunning contemporary stained glass windows I just got lost in. But my favourite was the smallest. The most insignificant was the one that held the most significance for me. It was the place I had heard God speak to me before.
I felt a song welling up in my heart – a song that a friend had written years before at University. It formed part of a Jazz Mass which I had sung part of
I began to sing it:
“Lamb of God,
you take away the sins,
the sins of all the world.
Grant us peace Lord.
Grant us peace Lord
Grant us peace, Oh Lamb of God.”
The tune was by an incredible musician at Durham named Kieron Barry.
It was haunting, simple and slow.
As I sang, I began to hear in my mind another voice singing in harmony with me, then another.
It was as if a number of angels joined in. It was so moving.
I did not hear God speak to me that day, but I sensed Him singing with me and granting me the peace I was desiring.
Mark 1:34 tells us that
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
So much of prayer for me is about solitude, quiet and peace. I have to do it by getting up early. The practicalities of having four children means I can’t practice real prayer any other way.
I encourage you this week, set your alarm and wake up early one day, get out of bed and go somewhere quiet – the kitchen, the garden, the shed. Take a hot drink, a notebook and pen… and of course, a Bible. Wait for God. Wait on God. You will discover He has been waiting for you.