Saturday, November 8, 2014

Worship- A Short Thought on Prayer

I was recently thinking about prayer. A brother was speaking on Ephesians a few months ago and something he said struck me. I had never thought of it in this way. He took us to 1 Samuel 12:23. “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way.” (NASB)
Samuel considered it a sin against God to cease to pray for Israel. What is it that Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18? “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NASB) (Also see Ephesians 6:18-20) The will of God is for us to pray without ceasing, rejoice always and give thanks in everything. All of these things are acts of worship toward God. These are command words. An action is to happen as a result of the command. 

What if we, like Samuel, decided that if we were to cease from praying that it would be a sin against God? Would we hold prayer as something we should be doing all the time? I think sometimes prayer gets shoved in the back of our minds. Maybe we see it as just a time set aside during the day to just make requests of God. Is it only to be reserved for before meals or only on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights? Of course not! I am guilty of doing these things day after day. Sometimes I will even say I will pray for someone, but then I forget to. Thinking about how Samuel viewed prayer has changed my perspective on prayer.

We get the privilege to communicate our thoughts, prayers, thanksgiving and praise to the Creator of the universe, by just simply talking to Him. That is amazing! We don't have to go through a ritual or go to a certain place or to a certain person in order to "call" God. We have direct access to call upon Him anytime, anyplace and anywhere. A child can pray. Old and young people can pray. No one can prevent us from praying. Prayer is truly an act of worship toward God that cannot be taken away from us. We get the privilege of worshiping God without ceasing through prayer every day. Now that is amazing! So what is keeping us from following this command to pray without ceasing? Do we desire to spend time with our Lord? Do we desire to worship Him continuously throughout the day? 

When we fix our eyes on our selfish desires and our self-sufficiency, our focus is no longer fixed on God. We no longer desire to rely on our Lord. We no longer worship God, but begin to worship ourselves for all the great things “we” have done. We no longer feel a need to pray. This should not be how it is. We must continue to rely on God and worship Him alone. One way to do this is through prayer. Let us take hold of the privilege we have to pray and with joy, pray without ceasing. Not because we feel obligated to but because we desire to. Let us desire to spend our whole day in worship of our God through prayer.

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