The Heart of Worship: How Worship Works

Praise is focusing our thoughts, plans, and words on God.

 

Come Bless the Lord

Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.” —1 Chronicles 29:10-12

Life is tough. That is why it is so easy for us to get up in the morning with our minds on our needs, our problems, and our aches and pains. Then, when we talk to God, guess what is the main topic? Ourselves.

The best remedy for self- centeredness is praise. Praise is focusing our thoughts, plans, and words on God. Notice in this prayer there is no mention of me or I. David never mentions himself or his needs. There is nothing wrong with asking for “our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) because He wants us to depend upon Him for our provisions. But prayer, and really life itself, begins with praise.

Praise causes you to focus on God and upon His character. Praise is not the same as worship. You can praise other people, but worship is for God alone. Praise is the front door of worship.

Praise is blessing God! We usually ask God to bless us, our families, etc. Why not today begin a new practice of starting the day by blessing God?

Father God, You are holy, just, undefiled, and separate from sinners. I want to spend some time today blessing You. Amen.

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Confession and Forgiveness

When they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You. — 1 Kings 8:48-50

God’s Word is a mirror of mankind and a true picture of God. Such was the case when Solomon dedicated the temple of God. As he prayed, he interceded on behalf of Israel for God to forgive their sins. In like manner, every one of us sins. This is the mirror. All of us sin. When we do, there are consequences to our rebellion. We know this by experience, don’t we?

Long after Solomon’s reign was over, the people of Israel would rebel against God — they then would be captured and carried into exile. But here was the intercession by Solomon: “When they come to their senses in their exile and repent, be merciful and forgive them.”

We all become prodigals at times in our lives. We long to be back in right fellowship with God. Solomon shows us the way. We come to our senses. We recognize our sins and admit them to God. When we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, the true picture of God is one of restoration.

You may be estranged from God at this moment, but being in a right relationship with God is as close as confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness. God longs to forgive, and He is as close as your prayer.

Lord, forgive me of my sin. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Prayer: Heaven’s Power

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. — Acts 4:31-32

Christians face storms that seem to come out of nowhere. Thus, we need to be like the early church and believe that when faced with trials, we have the power of heaven available to us through prayer. When the early church prayed, the miraculous happened.

The early church gained strength and favor with a lost and seeking world. Peter and John arrived at the temple for the hour of prayer and came upon a man who had been lame from his birth. As this man begged for money, Peter said, “Look at us” (Acts 3:4). The apostles only had one thing to give, and that was healing in the name of Jesus. The man was miraculously healed.

This incident caused Peter and John to be thrown in prison. Even in their personal storm, they continued to preach and praise Jesus. When they were released, they went to the other believers, and they shared what had happened. A chorus of prayer ascended to heaven, and the power of heaven fell. The result was the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and they testified with great boldness.

Every day we are on mission. People around us face trials. All we have to offer them is Jesus. We must pray for the power of heaven and speak with boldness.

Lord, may You hear our prayers and fill us with boldness. Amen.

Excerpted with permission from The Heart of Worship by Johnny Hunt, copyright Thomas Nelson.

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Your Turn

Worship may look a little different these days. Though there are many things we miss about meeting within the 4 walls of a church, worship hasn’t been canceled. Worship is an intimate thing between you and God. How do you find yourself worshiping most of the time these days?

 

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