Devotions are Boring

Posted: October 3, 2015 by Patrice Miles in Egbe Hosptial, Egbe Nigeria, Miles In Missions
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samsonDevotions in the morning in Egbe can be heard as early as 4:30am in the morning. You can here their singing, praying, and preaching all over the town. From the men beating their drums in the workshop at 7:50am to Oyibosay yelling “Baba, Ese O Baba” out the window at women’s devotions at 8am, devotions in other parts of the hospital compound can also be heard loud and clear.

I have been in Egbe for over 2 years now and I have been frustrated on multiple occasions with our women’s devotions. Every day we sing the same songs in the same order, stand in the same spot, and look at the same person. Some show up on time, some show up late, and normally the “Oyibos” (white people) are the only ones sharing. When everything is finished there is never a prayer request nor a praise spoken and I have to pick someone to pray because they always act like it is a big deal.

11393635_990437500967091_4441093967393536820_oI always question what is culture and what is not. Do they just not share prayer requests out of shame? Do they not speak about the devotion and what it means to them out of fear? I don’t know! I do know that too many of us get into a routine with God and our time with him stops meaning something. It simply becomes a to do list item. That is what women’s devotions had become for me and it seemed like for these girls too.

I was frustrated to the point of thinking about canceling the devotions. After talking to my missionary team one Friday night they encouraged me not to give up but to change it up. There was no solution given so I was still frustrated. Monday morning I took it to God and he spoke as he always does when I asked him. He told me to just tell the girls my heart and how frustrated I was. I obeyed and was rewarded beyond anything I could have imagined.

dev1The girls opened up and told me their frustration with devotion too. They were only coming because they were scared I would be mad. They were coming to devotions to please me and not to be obedient to God. When I talked about the routine they started quoting scripture where it says, “Sing to God a new song.” Psalm 96:1. I asked them what we were going to do about it and together we all came up with a solution. Devotions are now in our guesthouse parlor in a relaxed setting sitting down. Except when a song moves us and we need to shake our bum bum! Each morning a different woman is the leader. She chooses the songs to sing, the devotion or scripture to read and then talks about what that means to her. We then open the floor for discussion and then the same woman closes us in prayer.

Since this change, I have been so amazed at how the Holy Spirit has shown up in our time together. All the girls are on time or early now, they have shared amazing things about their lives that I have never known. I have learned more about these girls in the last few weeks, then I have in 26 months. I am once again blessed to see God working in Egbe as we all grow closer to him at our new devotion time. If your time with God has become routine, boring and mundane…I encourage you to share your heart with God and he will speak. Will you obey?

  1. Bruce T says:

    Way cool…I think I will apply this principle to my kids devotions too!

  2. mary Eicher says:

    Jesus will never fail you hon. When you are seeking His direction ask the precious Holy Spirit. He will ALWAYS give you an answer. So excited for you. Love, Grandma in Texas

  3. liavassiliades says:

    Such awesone answers to prayer uou experience!  On Faces weekend right now and miss YOU but know the same Holy Spirit working through our shared love for women and God…so sweet!! Love you

    Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  4. Chet Elizondo says:

    Love the picture of the kids sleeping in the chairs. They need to go to the men’s devotions at the shop.
    Chet in Texas

  5. Kate Hadassah says:

    That’s true,God is just so wonderful….

  6. dbeville says:

    This is really good news. You’ve been working and searching for a better connection for a looong time. I can only imagine the excitement, comfort and hope it brings to have some walls come down. (And I still hear Baba esa o Baba in the early morning…)

  7. Aaron says:

    Wow. This is a powerful testimony. Thanks for sharing!

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