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image-ddbb88a27faf11d9.jpgAs I began to pick up the Romanian language, I adjusted more easily to the different style of worship in the church services. Two aspects of Romanian worship stand out to me.

Congregational praying. This prayer practice is one of the aspects I love most about Romanian worship. It is missing in most American churches. I’m not referring to written prayers for the congregation (although that is sometimes a nice touch), but spontaneous prayers from the church members on behalf of others. Too often in an American service, the only people who pray aloud in a church service are deacons, pastors or worship leaders. We miss the encouragement of hearing lay people praying out loud for the other church members. In Romania, I observed how this practice knitted the congregation together in love and unity.

The Importance of “Awe-some” Worship. Romania reminded me of the importance of having awe before God. One of the common practices in Romanian village life is for the Christian to enter the church and to say a short, silent prayer before speaking with anyone else – a prayer for God to speak, to move, to act, and to teach. I got into the habit of praying when I entered the sanctuary, and I discovered that this practice reminded me that I was in God’s house and that I was expecting Him to speak.

Though I went to Romania to teach, the awesomeness of God was something I learned. One Saturday, we had 19 youth at the service – a big number for the village. And the spirit in the sanctuary was incredible. The youth participated, asked questions, and so much more. At the end, we had an open prayer time in which anyone could say a one-sentence prayer to God. It was so quiet and reverent and holy in that sanctuary during this brief time. I had goose bumps, and it wasn’t because I was cold! It was the presence of God with us. There have been few times when I’ve felt the presence of God so close.

As Christians, we are always assured of God’s presence. We know that when two or three gather in Christ’s name, He is there in the midst of us. We know that the Holy Spirit is present and at work in God’s church. But even though we know these things and they are always true, sometimes God gives us the grace to feel what we already know. This occasion in the village was one of those times. The little church building that held almost 20 young people had become a sanctuary – a place where God was meeting us weekly. On that day, the time we spent in prayer was one in which we could sense God’s presence so palpably that one of the teenagers looked over at me and whispered, “God is here!”

written by Trevin Wax  © 2008 Kingdom People blog


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3 thoughts on “Romanian Worship: Rediscovering "Awe"”

  1. Andy Atkins says:

    Trevin,

    Thank you for this post. It gave warmth to my heart on a cool, rainy day.

    – Andy

  2. vangelicmonk says:

    Praise God. That is awesome. It is great to see the different distinctions and freshness that each church congregation and culture brings to the faith.

    I have only scratched the surface of this. I am currently in a Korean church and chorus prayer is great. God Bless you and your ministry.

    -Ted.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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