This is day 2 of 31 Days of Songs and Stories. For an index of all the posts in the series, click here.
I first discovered the power of praise in the dentist’s surgery…
Unlikely, I know, but God often works in mysterious ways!
I was 13 years old and had been told that, before having a brace fitted to straighten my teeth, I needed to have four teeth removed to make more space.
To say that I was terrified of going to the dentist would be an understatement, but it had to be done. After being given the anaesthetic, I was sent through to sit in the waiting room for ten minutes to give it time to take effect, and that was when the anxiety really began to kick in.
It felt like my whole face was swelling up and my throat was closing up. I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to breathe, and everything just felt out of control. My agitation gradually increased and I was starting to panic. My mum was with me and she was trying to calm me down but didn’t really know what to do.
Then suddenly a voice spoke, cutting right through the anxiety and the panic: “Can I pray for you?”
I was taken aback for two reasons: firstly, because the voice came from a lady sitting in the corner of the room- I had been so agitated that I hadn’t even realised anyone else was there- and secondly because, despite the fact that I had gone to church all my life, I don’t think anyone had ever asked me that question before.
“OK,” I agreed. At this stage anything was worth a try. So she prayed and then she began to sing this song: “There is power in the name of Jesus.”
I’ll be honest; I thought it was a little bit weird. I mean, I was 13… and this lady was singing in a dentist’s waiting room!
But I did feel calmer. I wasn’t sure if it was just because the unexpectedness of the situation had taken my mind off my anxiety, but somehow it worked, and there was something about those words that stuck with me and made me believe them.
As I sat in the dentist’s chair a few minutes later, I could feel the anxiety beginning to rise again, so I closed my eyes and sang the song in my head, trying to keep my focus on that, rather than what was happening in my mouth, and it worked. I was able to have the teeth removed without any problem.
That was when I first saw that God could use music to speak powerfully and I began to recognise the great power in praise.
Join me every day this month for more stories of God using songs, including the stories behind worship songs being written and guest posts from several friends.