81 – The “WORK” of Prayer: Worship-Renewal-Kingdom
One day Francis of Assisi was out hoeing his garden. Someone asked him, “Francis, if you knew for certain that Jesus would return tomorrow, what would you do?”
Francis replied without hesitation, “I would finish hoeing my garden.”
Francis was so convinced that he was where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing, that he was certain he had not missed anything.
How can you and I be that certain we are not missing it? In this and the next two issues of A Look in the Mirror, I would like to give you a three-part paradigm for prayer and life based upon The Lord’s Prayer. I think it can help us to not “miss it.”
Why prayer? Once a man can pray right, he will live right. The disciples knew this. No doubt that’s what he had in mind when, “one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray. . .'” (Luke 11:1).
Jesus taught his disciples to use the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4) as a model for prayer. It can be thought of in three parts: worship, renewal, and kingdom which form an acrostic: WoRK. This month. . .
The first part of our “WoRK” paradigm, based on Luke 11:2, is “Worship.”
“Father, hallowed be your name. . . “(Luke 11:2).
Have you been to a Promise Keepers event? If you have you know what a rich experience men have there with God. Why does PK have such an impact on men? No doubt the vast impact of Promise Keepers can be traced in large part back to their emphasis on worship-worship that is contextualized for men.
OUR NEED FOR WORSHIP
God will not force us to revere Him, but He will make it impossible for us to be happy unless we do. Ecclesiastes 3:12-14 says,
“I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.”
Is this true? Will we not be happy unless we revere the Lord? If so, then we need to worship the Lord.
Perhaps that’s why the Lord’s Prayer begins, “Our Father, hallowed be your name.” We could say, “May your name be considered holy.” In Revelation the living creatures never stop saying day and night,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).
JESUS IS WORTHY OF OUR WORSHIP
And why should we worship the Lord? Notice the word “worthy” in the following texts.
The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say,
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11).
Together they sang a new song, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).
Then thousands upon thousands of angels sang, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12).
Then every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, sang, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).
So why should we revere and worship God? Because He is worthy.
All men worship something, but only God is worthy of our worship. Worshipping anything else but Him robs us of spiritual life. Only God can satisfy our soul’s deep hunger for something greater than ourselves.
HOW TO WORSHIP THE LORD
Worship means to bring one’s self into the real presence of God for reverence, praise, thanksgiving, and fellowship with Him. The Westminster Confession of Faith Shorter Catechism says the chief aim of man is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
How can a man worship the Lord? A man can engage in both private and public worship.
The first thing that comes to mind for “private” worship is to meditate upon Scripture. Passages that evoke worship are ones like those above from Revelation, Isaiah 6:1-8, 1 Chronicles 29:10-15, Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 53, and John 6:35-40 to mention only a few. No doubt you may have favorites. Look for texts that lead you to exalt the Lord, revel in His presence, and lead to a sense of holiness, contrition, and humility.
A second way of private worship is prayer. Pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Then, let your mind wander over the attributes and character of our great God. Here is a partial list. . .
Holy, Loving, Great, Awesome, Almighty,
Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnibenevolent,
All wise, Eternal, Infinite, Immortal, Invisible, Immutable,
Transcendent, Immanent, Alpha, Omega,
King of kings, Lord of lords, God who was, is, and is to come,
The Door, the Gate, the Good Shepherd,
The Way, the Truth, the Life, The Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father,
The Comforter, the Counselor, The Bread of Life, the Living Water,
The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Talk to God until it you find yourself exalting the Lord, then exult in His holy presence.
A third way is to listen to praise and worship music. I highly recommend the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries (“NCMM”) sponsored album, No Higher Calling (Integrity Music), which you can purchase in any Christian music store or order online from us. Music releases spiritual communication through the emotions that our cognitive minds cannot grasp.
Public worship is what you should be doing in your church meetings. Enter into the spirit of worship before you leave home. Go expecting to meet with, hear from, and offer praise to God.
A WORSHIP EXERCISE
Take any amount of time comfortable for you (one minute or one hour) to bow your head and worship God. Express your love, praise, and thanks. Meditate on His character and benefits. Read Scripture. Sing. Consider any or all of His attributes.
Next month we will explore “Renewal.”
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley helps men to think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped for a larger impact on the world.
©2000. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This may be reproduced with proper attribution for non-commercial purposes.