In the first chapter of his book
Growing in Prayer, Mike Bickle tells of a life-changing encounter he had in the summer of 1988. He had been leading a Saturday morning prayer meeting each week for nearly four years. About 20 people regularly attended.
One Saturday he arrived around fifteen minutes early. The two cars in the parking lot belonged to the guys who ran the sound system.
As he approached the building, he heard loud music that sounded like something from the "Hallelujah Chorus" in Handel's Messiah. It was glorious and beautiful. He thought, "Oh no, the sound techs are playing with the sound system, and they will surely blow out the speakers by having the volume up so loud."
He ran to open the door and ask them to turn the volume down, but when he opened the door, everything was quiet. He wondered what was going on.
When he entered the sanctuary, he saw that the only two guys there were not in the sound booth but rather at the front of the sanctuary praying together. He was perplexed and wondered what that loud music was he had just heard. Then it dawned on him, with a sense of awe, that he had just heard angelic choirs.
He assumed that that prayer meeting would be the most powerful he had ever attended. Surely hearing angelic voices was a sign they were about to have a breakthrough into God's presence.
The meeting began, but nothing unusual happened. It was as run-of-the-mill as it was on many other Saturdays. In fact, he felt very dull as he prayed.
After the prayer meeting was over, Mike Bickel sat quietly for about 20 minutes after others left and wondered. "Hearing that angelic choir was one of the strangest things that has every happened to me. What did it mean?"
He could not come up with an answer. Then suddenly the Holy Spirit impressed him with this thought: "This is what happens every time a few of My people gather to pray." He understood in that moment that angelic choirs rejoice every time God's people gather to pray, even in a small, seemingly uninspired Saturday morning prayer meeting.
Dear Lord, I'm thankful that Your dependability to hear and answer prayer relies upon Your promises--not our feelings.
"Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God" (Acts 10:4). (Words spoken to Cornelius who no doubt often prayed out of habit and felt nothing.)