“And your outreach location will be…. New Zealand! You will be helping lead worship in the Prayer Room!”
I was angry.
The former Prayer Room staff had up and moved to the Middle East so they were in need of musicians, singers, and sound technicians. Did I care? No.
I signed up for my specific Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Australia because the outreach was to Southeast Asia to rescue children from sex trafficking. New Zealand was my last choice and I did not want it. I already told everyone I was headed to Thailand or Cambodia. I had raised money for that specific mission.
Instead, I was assigned to what some happily call Narnia. Others know it as Middle Earth.
I was not happy.
We were headed to the Tauranga House of Prayer, a satellite of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I had always loved the house of prayer, their vision, their music, and their dedication to God being glorified 24/7 above all else. I just didn’t want it to be my assignment. There were girls to rescue; there were orphans to feed. There was work to be done around the world.
I didn’t want to sit in a room and pray.
Six years later, I am serving in what is now known as the Furnace Prayer Room—in Narnia/Middle Earth. I am committed to spending my life establishing houses of prayer, and seeing nations sing to the One true living and uncreated God.
So, what changed? God’s presence changed my heart. Shocker, I know. Setting aside time for Him, I couldn’t help but be confronted by His worth. My disappointment was intercepted by the vastness of His beauty. God’s love and worth reaches far greater than any humanitarian act I could hope to achieve.
Jesus did say to feed the poor, to love the least, last, and lost. James 1:27 also says true religion is to love the orphan and the widow. So following Jesus must and will always lead to acts of justice.
But we cannot disregard the first and greatest commandment: to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. To love Him is to respond to His worth in the only appropriate way: awe, surrender, and praise. This is why praising God is not an assignment that solely belongs to a Prayer Room team—worshipping God is the assignment of creation.
Six years ago, I never expected that my greatest disappointment on DTS would lead me to my greatest joy. What started as my last choice, ended up leading me into the revelation of what I was created for: the knowledge of God. I am now and forever will be gripped by His immeasurable worth.
And He will always be my first choice.