Prayer and Worship. These are two of the most vital things to our walk with God, yet these are two of the most misconstrued among believers.
During an awesome time with God, He started to reveal to me just how far I was from where I’m supposed to be. And not only that, but just how far we are from Him as a church, as the body of Christ. So let’s look at what these two things are, and why they are so vital.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we are told to do everything to the glory of God. What does this have to do with prayer and worship? Worship is defined as the act of paying reverence to God, another word for reverence being glorification; it is the act of glorifying God.
One of our greatest failures as the body of Christ is to only teach worship as being the act of singing praises to God. Our lives should be our worship! For many years there has been riots over racial segregation and racial tensions, but when do we draw the line and say no more! No more spiritual segregation. My God IS my life, not just a part of it.
For me, though I battle it daily, this moment came when I realized that I Killed Jesus Christ. Because of my sin, knowing exactly what sin was and choosing it anyway, Jesus had to die for me. And He had to die for you. Knowing very well that we would continually rebel against Him, most of us daily, He willingly gave up His throne of power to come serve God as a man. Though He was still God, Jesus Christ came to earth and physically, spiritually, and perfectly gave us an example for Him to follow. Disregarding the cultural differences of then and now, where do we see Christ in our church? In everything Christ did, He reflected His Father. He tells us this in John 14 starting in verse 8. Philip asks Him to show the disciples the Father, and Jesus’ reply is amazing:
“Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
This is so awesome! Jesus’ replies with a heart full of love saying “everything I do is because the Father loves you. Because I love you. Everything I do is because it is His will, and therefore it is my will. I molded you from the dirt, and breathed my life into you, so that you may live. I loved you before you were created; I loved you and therefore you were created. When you used that life to rebel against me, I sacrificed myself so that you could be redeemed; brought back. I love you.”
That is the perfect example of love. The perfect example of Worship. Worship is bringing glorying to God, and we are given a perfect example in Jesus to know how to do that. His love. This is not the mere love we attempt to muster toward our friends and family, only to forget it in flares of anger; this is a love so deep, so passionate that it controls anger; a love so true and perfect that regardless of deception, denial, and outright rebellion, God Still Loves Me. And God Still Loves You.
In Romans chapter 5 verse 8 we see the perfect example of God’s love: Jesus. How often do we think of the MAGNITUDE of such a love, that the God of the Universe would willingly strip off His power and come to earth just to save those who didn’t want Him? Jesus sacrificed everything so that we may have life, and in return, I ask myself “What have I done? What Have I sacrificed?”
Our time is the best thing we can sacrifice to God. Our time and our willingness. He doesn’t need our knowledge, wisdom, or physicalities. He doesn’t need us; He wants us. He looks at you and says “You’re worth loving.” So let’s make a decision today to be willing to give Him our time; because that’s the choice it comes down to.
Well, we have seen the amazing example of worship we have in Christ, and how vital it is, for it grows our faith and shines God’s love and glory. Where does prayer come in? What is so significant about it?
When Jesus said everything He did was a direct reflection of the Will of God, the first thing we might think of is the action itself, what Jesus did. The question then is, how did He know to do it? Prayer is our direct line of communication with God. God can speak to us in infinitely many ways, but our way of communicating with Him is prayer. Jesus prayed and conversed with God.
We can see this as an example in Luke 6:12. Jesus prays all night. Not just for a few minutes, but until He has the answer He needs from God. In Luke 22, we see Jesus knowing He will soon be crucified, crying out to God that His Will might be done. His prayer was so earnest, so powerful, that it was as drops of blood.
Looking at James chapter 5 verses 13-18 we see:
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. James 5:13-18
Verse 16 says “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” The NIV states that it has great power and is effective. The prayer of faith has power. There is not even some top secret formula for prayer. In verses 17 and 18 we see that Elijah, a normal man with a nature just like ours, has the faith, and therefore God answered his prayer. But one keyword is in there: fervently.
This is why we must pray. Because it is our direct line of connection to God for knowledge; it is our direct line of connection to God for wisdom; it is our direct line of connection to God for strength; it is our direct line of connection to God for power; it is our direct line of connection to God for encouragement and love.
When I look at my life, I can see it as a stage. A stage filled with things that bring attention to myself; things that please me, not things that glorify God. We come every Sunday and worship, and that’s awesome! But Worship is more than a song. It is how we live.
Back to the keyword we said: fervently. Is our prayer a heartfelt cry to God, or is it a side thought that doesn’t matter more than anything else? As you listen to Clear The Stage (below or click the song title), think about these things, listening to the words. He has an amazing message in this song.
“Tell your friends it’s the end until you’re right with God.” Get alone with God and don’t let go until you have your answer. Cling desperately to Him! “Take a break from all the plans you’ve made and wait at home for God to whisper,” begging God to reveal Himself.
This all leaves more questions than answers: That’s the intention. I don’t have all the answers, and my goal is to point you to the One Who does.
This is an awesome and powerful message from God, one that should not be ignored by any of us! I learn something amazing every time I read these verses. Ask God to reveal His Will to you, open yourself as willing before God, and don’t let go, and it will change your life!
We want to hear from you! What is God teaching you? What are your thoughts on these things? Join us in conversation below!