SHOULD WORSHIP BE LIKE PRAYER?

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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In the title of this blog, the question is asked, “Should worship be like prayer?”  The intent of the questions is this….  “Should worship-true worship, be unceasing?”  Take a look at the verses below.  They uphold the idea that worship, like prayer should be a constant in our lives!

After looking at the verses, read the excerpt that follows by John Piper.  It’s an eye-opener, to say the least! -anita

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Psalm 68:4-5 NIV Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him — his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalm 116:1-2 NIV I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

Psalm 63:3-4 NIV Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 34:1 NIV I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

Psalm 42:8  NIV  By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 111:10 NIV The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

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I read the following on the internet while searching for the above verses.  This excerpt is from John Piper.  He is talking about Worship and how it affects Satan.  Scripture reference is 2 Chronicals 20:1-25.  Read it first, then take a look….

Spiritual worship and spiritual warfare should be carried out with singing. In verse 19 when all the people fell down to worship, the choir stood up to sing. And in verse 21 when the people went out to meet the enemy, the choir went before them with songs of victory.

And even more than that, I think that the writer wants us to learn from verse 22 that the enemies of God are thrown into confusion by the songs of God’s people. Or to put it another way, God has appointed the use of spiritual songs as an effective weapon against his archenemy Satan.

Four years ago I was called late one night to come to an apartment where supposedly there was a demon-possessed woman. I called Tom Steller and we went together while our wives prayed at home. What we found was a woman held in a room by some young Christian women who were intent on seeing the demon driven out of this woman. For about two hours I talked to her and read her Scriptures and prayed prayers of deliverance.

She became increasingly violent, knocking the Bible out of my hand and grabbing the prayer sheets and shoving me. At one point, about one in the morning, when the conflict rose to a fever pitch between the Word of God and the satanic force in this woman, someone in the group began to sing. It was one of our familiar worship songs. We sang it again and again and the Lord gave us new words for it each time. The effect on her was dramatic. She began to tremble and threaten us if we didn’t stop. Then she threw herself on the floor and screamed for Satan not to leave her. She went into convulsions and then went limp. When she came to, she remembered nothing of what happened and was willing to read Scripture and pray.

So Tom Steller and I know from experience that singing to God is not a nice little emotional trip to spice up a worship service. For us it felt more like a matter of life and death. That is what it was for Paul and Silas. And that’s what it is for our church.

Two Practical Applications

 

I close with two practical applications.

1. Use Songs in Your Personal and Family Devotions

 

You must sing songs unto God to help you ambush Satan in your personal devotional life. 

I promise you it will bring a new power to your fight of faith. Satan cannot bear the singing of the saints. You can drive him away with song. And don’t fall for his lie that you can’t sing. Everybody can sing. Not everybody can perform. Not everybody can lead. Not everybody can read music or even stay on the right keys. But everybody can sing to God.  God loves to hear your song, no matter how badly you sing. And woe to your enemies when you sing to your Father in heaven!

2. Know That the Ministry of Song Is Warfare

 

Second, God has ordained that the gifted singers among us be appointed for spiritual leadership in the choir. David appointed the Levites of the family of Kohath to the ministry of music. They were to serve in the house of God to bring a continual offering of praise and worship to the Lord. They were to lead and assist the people in singing to God. And, as we saw in 2 Chronicles 20 their work is warfare. When they began to sing, the Lord set an ambush against the enemy.

And so it should be with the church. The singers and musicians are not here to turn worship into a nice aesthetic experience for the pleasure of unspiritual artsy types. They have not been called as a kind of musical artists in residence. They have been called as company commanders. The enemy is Satan and the warfare is song. And their business is to take charge of the company at the front ranks of the army and to lead us to God in worship, to each other in love, and into the world to plunder the death camps of Satan. Christ has given us a promise far greater than the promise of Jahaziel to Jehoshaphat: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me; go make disciples . . . I will be with you to the end of the age . . . I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (Matthew 28:18–20John 11:25).

We have two great weapons in worship: the Word of God and song. So let us give heed to the Word of God and let us sing with all our heart.

John Piper

 

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