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Why Worship-Based Prayer Matters More Than You Think

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 3:02pm -- Rob
In most American worship and church services, God is worshiped by the singing of praise choruses, hymns, and other songs.  Sometimes, congregants are encouraged to pray silently while music quietly plays in the background.  While these are completely good and acceptable forms of worship, something seldom seen or modeled in American churches or around society is worship-based prayer.
 
Background
 

Around two years ago, I was introduced to worship-based prayer.  It was different than other ways I had learned to pray.  Throughout my life, prayer was mostly an ask-and-receive form of communication with God.  Prayer was a last-resort; something to do when all my creative and constructive efforts fell short.  Worship-based prayer moved prayer to the top of my priorities- it made prayer enjoyable, frequent, and it quickly deepened my personal relationship with God!

Worship-based prayer isn't the newest form of prayer, nor is it the only way to pray.  What it is though, is a form of prayer that deepens one's understanding, reverence, closeness, awe, and wonder of who God is.  It helps the person praying to push back against his/her flesh, the world, and our adversary- all of whom constantly try to diminish and eclipse God from our minds, hearts, eyes, and attention.  Worship-based prayer restores and/or expands a person's understanding of the fullness and completeness of God- in His attributes and beyond them!

God is Always Worthy to be Worshiped

One of the ruts that worship-based prayer pulled me out of was a mindset that God was to be worshiped on a Sunday morning, but then put away and seldom considered again until the following Sunday morning.  Until introduced to worship-based prayer, God's attribute of Provider was pretty much the only attribute of His that I considered or focused upon with any regularity.  Later, as my prayer life grew a little more, I'd ask God to work in my life with greater frequency, but largely, my prayers were still 98% request-oriented.

But there is no one else like God.  Consider what God said to Job in Job 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 (please read these instead of quickly skipping past them).

God is matchless and is complete in power.  God is infinite in each of His attributes.  His creativity, sovereignty, holiness, love, grace, power, wisdom, justice, mercy, being all-knowing, being everywhere at all times- always, and more, are perpetually and perfectly infinite.  He alone is complete in every way- lacking in nothing!  Even typing these out has lifted my heart in worship to Him- hopefully the Holy Spirit is lifting your heart in worship as well!  But don't just take my word for it, search the Word- for it is authoritative and true!

God can and should be worshiped in all times and in all places.  Worship is not represented in a physical position or series of positions (as some religions and faiths attempt); it's the position of the heart before God.  It exalts God as Lord over all, Maker of all, and amongst everything He's created (He's perfectly personal).

Worship is not to only be done in one location.  While worshiping in a church building is good, we can worship God everywhere.  We can praise Him in our hearts while we shop for groceries, wash dishes, tidy the house, while we drive or ride from one place to another, and more.  We can praise Him while in a hospital bed, while we're in distress, while things are going well, and when things don't seem to be going as well as we'd like.

He doesn't change even though our hearts turn in different directions away from him at times.

Worship Defeats Worry

Worry is a familiar and common sin in America.  It's so common that little is thought about it.  It's accepted as something people routinely do.  Some even call themselves "professional worriers," as if it were some badge of honor! But few press into God to overcome worry.  Jesus spoke directly about worry in Matthew 6:25-34.  While the worries of that day consisted of where the next meal would come from, and other basic and essential needs, worry can worm into almost any situation or circumstance- if allowed.

When we worship God, He is seen and understood more fully as who He truly is.

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” - Romans 10:8-11

 
Worry puffs up problems, challenges, circumstances, dreams, or even desires, to become larger than they should be.  It can make the circumstance eclipse a person's view of the fullness of God; sometimes to the point where God doesn't seem as powerful, authoritative, perfect, present, good, compassionate, or any other of His perfect attributes.  Worry causes a person to question God and allows self and circumstances to dominate one's heart and/or mind instead of God.
 
Worship-based prayer helps put worry in its place.  It's not enough simply to know that worry is a sin and that one should not participate in it.  It must be eradicated entirely!  This is done by reading and praying worship-based Scriptures, praying for the Holy Spirit to illumine the Word as we read it, then help us take to heart what it says; praising and worshiping God for the truth of who He is contained therein!  Praying Scripture is also an excellent way to memorize Scripture!  When we memorize worship-based Scripture, we develop a growing reservoir of truth about God within our hearts and minds- a reservoir readily available to draw from, especially in difficult or challenging times!
 
When we see God rightly and accurately, everything else falls into its exact and appropriate place before Him.  It won't necessarily make our circumstances perfect, but it will help us to see God and our circumstances correctly- which is important.  When we see God and circumstances inaccurately and out of proportion, that's where trouble and confusion quickly begins.
 

Here's a Psalm that's useful in "tuning one's heart" to speak, meditate, and praise God for who He is.  Let's worship at His footstool! (v. 5)

The Lord reigns,
    let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim,
    let the earth shake.
Great is the Lord in Zion;
    he is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name—
    he is holy.

The King is mighty, he loves justice—
    you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done
    what is just and right.
Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his footstool;
    he is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
    Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they called on the Lord
    and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
    they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.

Lord our God,
    you answered them;
you were to Israel a forgiving God,
    though you punished their misdeeds.
Exalt the Lord our God
    and worship at his holy mountain,
    for the Lord our God is holy.
  -Psalm 99

Carry worship of God with you wherever you go!  You'll bless God as you do so, and He'll bless you in seeing and knowing Him more completely and deeply than ever before.  Continue in worship now...

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