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We know from scripture that two things God requires of us as Christians are prayer and worship. We have been instructed in God’s Word to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). As any true prayer warrior will tell you, prayer is two-way communication between God and the person(s) praying.
Too often we deem prayer as only one-way communication, when we talk to God but give Him no opportunity to speak to us. We want what we want, but have not inquired of God what He wants. We make every effort to carry out our plans when in reality, we have not sought God’s direction or His plan for us. We only told God our plans; but did not wait for His answer; perhaps we don’t even want His answer. God has shown me in my Christian walk that He is at perfect liberty to change my plans, no matter how well-thought-out I had initially deemed them to be. When I went through an extended period of unemployment and the uncertainty in my mind was abundant, He let me know that my agenda meant little in light of His perfect plan for me. He taught me to humble myself all over again, and understand that it really isn’t about my limited ability or resources, but His total sufficiency.
The same is true in our worship to God, be it public or private. When we enter into God’s presence in worship, there should be two-way communication, as well. God wants to speak to us in our times of worship. I believe that we can sometimes attempt to “manufacture” God’s presence and His voice in worship. But we must understand that God is perfectly
capable of speaking for Himself. Our job is to listen for His voice (Proverbs 8:34). We speak to God in worship – extolling Him for His greatness, wisdom, care, and love. And just as in our times of prayer, God desires to
speak to us in our times of worship. Before I go any further, please understand that when I use the term “worship”, I am not referring merely to church attendance. Regular church attendance does not make us worshipers.
a church service begs the questions, “Did you worship while you were there?” “Did you go to meet God or just be part of a gathering?”
Not only does God desire sincere prayer, but He insists upon sincere worship as well. In Luke 18:11-13 as the Pharisee prayed thanking God he was not as other men, the tax-gatherer, aware of his own unworthiness, pleaded to God for mercy.
The prayer of the tax-gatherer caught Jesus’ attention because he humbled himself. This was not so for the Pharisee.
In Psalm 51 when David prayed for God to create in Him a clean heart, he states in verse 6, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts. . .”. The sole criteria God has given us for coming to Him in worship is “in spirit and in
truth” (John 4:23-24). This kind of worship is Holy Spirit-led, and in a manner according to the truth of God’s
Word. God Himself desires to be present today in the middle of our prayers and our worship.
Jesus taught the disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. I find it interesting that The Lord’s Prayer (or The Model Prayer) begins and ends with worship. It begins with “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. . .”. The word “hallow” points toward adoration, or reverence. The prayer ends with “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.” The kingdom is His, and the power and the glory are His also. Psalm 29:2 tells us to give unto the Lord the glory due His name.