“Great are YOU, Lord. You are great and greatly to be praised. You are feared above all gods. All the gods of people are idols, but You, Lord, made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before You. Strength and beauty are in Your sanctuary.” Psalm 96: 4-6
“Worship-based prayer seeks the face of God before the hand of God. God’s face is the essence of who He is. God’s hand is the blessing of what He does. God’s face represents His person and presence. God’s hand expresses His provision for needs in our lives. I have learned that if all we ever do is seek God’s hand, we may miss His face; but if we seek His face, He will be glad to open His hand and satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts.” Daniel Henderson, Transforming Prayer
- It’s time to meet with Jesus. Put away all media devices. If you’re using a device to read the Bible study, put it on Do Not Disturb and close all the other apps.
- Read Psalm 96. Read it out loud, with intentionality, so you believe every word you say.
I love to worship God. I also love to sing. Coincidence? Yes. A big misconception among Christians is that singing is the only way to worship God. Actually, worship encapsulates so much more than words set to music.
So why does the Psalm that we read for today’s study first tell us to sing? Singing is a response that comes from our souls’ longings to burst out with all that we think and feel about God. This comes from a genuine practice of worship.
Did you know that the history of the word worship comes from “worth-ship”? In other words, God is worthy of everything noble, honorable, valuable, beautiful, and more. When we worship, we do not simply thank God for what He does. We praise Him for who He is!
The key to filling your soul with the presence of God does not begin at church or with other Christians. The Bible mandates public worship, as indicated by its talk about the body of Christ. Donald Whitney writes in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life: “Can we expect the flames of our worship of God to burn brightly in public on the Lord’s Day when they barely flicker for Him in secret on other days?” In other words, we must discipline ourselves to worship individually!
My church practices a concept called worship-based prayer. It has not only changed the way I pray, but it has also opened my eyes to see more of Him. The more I see Him, the more I want to worship Him.
Compare the following examples of prayer:
- I praise You, for You are good to me.
- God, You are good.
Do you see how the object of the prayer shifts to having God as the center of focus rather than yourself? They are both heartfelt, scripturally-based prayers, but when you compare the two, you will see how important it is to talk about God alone—not about you—simply God.
Some other examples of worship-based prayer derived from Scripture:
- “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)
- “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:1)
Go ahead and try these examples. Notice that these prayers are sentences, not lengthy paragraphs. Keep your words of worship simple. If you practice worship-based prayer, I believe the Holy Spirit will sanctify you greatly. You will think less of yourself and more of God. Your soul will overflow with a desire to declare God as worthy. You may even unexpectedly and unabashedly burst out in song!
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Remember, dear sister in Christ, God wants you to worship Him at all times, no matter the circumstance. Read these three passages: 2 Samuel 6:14-15; 2 Samuel 12:19-20; Job 1:18-22.
- Why does King David/Job worship?
- How does he worship?
- Will I worship no matter the circumstance?
Sit at the feet of Jesus. Worship Him by completing this statement. God, You are ________________. Fill the blank with ten different characteristics of God. Don’t fret if you can’t think of ten characteristics of God. Remember, worship is a discipline, so it takes practice.
Read Psalm 96:4-6 aloud, but change it into a worship-based prayer: Great are You, Lord. You are great and greatly to be praised. You are feared above all gods. All the gods of people are idols, but You, Lord, made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before You. Strength and beauty are in Your sanctuary.
The description in this study for worship based prayer is only the beginning. For a much more in-depth explanation, go to http://www.strategicrenewal.com/worship-based-prayer.