Worship is at the center of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Our #714 prayer initiative is a call to refocus our hearts and minds on the Lord so that we can experience his presence in deeper ways.
As we have seen in our reading of The Story, there is a real sense of wonder and beauty to the way the Lord goes about his business. From speaking Creation into being, to rescuing his people from oppression in Egypt via a stuttering old man (Moses), to making a shepherd boy into a king (David), to his greatest act of redeeming all the world not through overt power but through sacrifice (Jesus). God is determined to rescue his people from the brokenness of this world, but he often does it in a way we wouldn’t naturally suspect. Often God acts in such a way that seems puzzling and confusing to us at the time, but in hindsight our hearts and minds are struck by the brilliance and genius of his actions.
It is when our hearts come to a deeper understanding of God’s wisdom and purpose that worship begins to pour out of our souls. Worship is simply the response of our hearts, both individually and collectively, to the character of God. We worship him for what he has done within our lives, and this is demonstrated through what we say and how we live. So then, as we respond to God in worship, we see that our lives begin to reflect his will. John Piper gives us a helpful definition of worship:
Worship is what we were created for. This is the final end of all existence-the worship of God. God created the universe so that it would display the worth of His glory. And He created us so that we would see this glory and reflect it by knowing and loving it-with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. The church needs to build a common vision of what worship is and what she is gathering to do on Sunday morning and scattering to do on Monday morning.
Worship centers our hearts and minds on God’s mission. It breaks through the monotony of our day and calls us into God’s vision for humanity.Worship is the vehicle to awaken us to this God-centered perspective, so that we partner with God to see his Kingdom come, on EARTH as it already is In HEAVEN.
One other thing needs to be said when it comes to worship. We need to remember that we are called to worship. Not simply invited. Called. God calls his people to worship him so that they would be refreshed to participate in God’s mission in the world and to be reminded of who God is and who he has made us to be in the midst of a dark and broken world. Often we will have to choose to worship God when we don’t feel like it, but when we do our perspective changes for the better. Eugene Peterson expounds on this idea saying:
We live in what one writer has called the “age of sensation.” We think that if we don’t feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it. But the wisdom of God says something different: that we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Worship is an act that develops feelings for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship. When we obey the command to praise God in worship, our deep, essential need to be in relationship with God is nurtured.
So as we corporately learn about worship during #714Prayer, we have an opportunity to be intentional and pray twice a day that worship would not only flourish in our own hearts but that it would catch fire throughout Hamilton County!
God has called his people to pray! Our families, communities, and world are in need of healing and God makes a conditional promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that we want to live out. God is calling us as his people to humble ourselves, pray, seek his face and turn from our wicked ways. Please join us by:
- Praying daily at 7:14 a.m. & 7:14 p.m.
- Fasting one time per week