Spiritual warfare has not waned over time. In fact, it is just as real and present as it has ever been. We are just as much in the middle of a war as people were 100 years ago. Worship and prayer are two of the most powerful tools we have been given to combat the ways of this world….and we’ve gone into battle without them.
Today when we use the word worship, most people immediately think it means “song and dance” or some form of music or expression of dance. Our worship leaders are musicians who play in a band in front of churches and they teach us new songs to praise our Lord with. While these things are all good, I would argue that neither song nor dance are worship in and of themselves.
Worship is currently defined as:
The act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshipping God or a god
Scripture points to many different outpourings of worship but there is one common theme that the Church has forgotten.
Worship is the bowing of one’s heart to pay homage/give honor to the God of all creation. It is, indeed, showing respect and love for God. Whenever worship is talked about in scripture, it is usually illustrated by someone prostrating themselves (being face-down on the ground) before the Lord and turning their affections towards Him. With this in mind, it is better to say that “music” and “dance” are outpourings and expressions of worship, but alone, they are nothing. It would be safe to argue that there are those that sing and dance, and do not do it for the Lord…therefore we do not consider that an expression of worship to our creator.
In fact, we attribute worth to the actions of others, based on where we judge their hearts to be. The same is true of prayer.
Prayer used to be a way for us to directly commune with the God who created the heavens and the earth. It was a way to set aside time to not only talk with and listen to God, but as a way to be with Him.
Now it has been reduced (in many cases) to a daily ritual at meal time:
Dear Jesus, thank you for the carbs…
Dear Jesus, keep me safe
Dear Jesus, find me a wife/husband
Dear Jesus, bless us
Dear Jesus, be with us
Now don’t get me wrong, it is not wrong to come before the Lord and make your requests known. It is not wrong to come to Him for anything and everything, but let’s remember that He has said this in His word and He means it:
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Ephesians 3:20-21
We worship and pray to a God who can do superabundantly…far over and above all that we dare ask or THINK. So why is it that our western culture has replaced the immeasurable value of a priceless God, with that of a Magic 8-Ball. When we come to God only for the small things in life, are we not ascribing minimal value to who He is? Should we not be coming before the Lord, in the name of Jesus, and praying for the impossible, that which only God could do?
If worship is a reverent bowing of one’s heart to the God of creation, and prayer is being in communion with that same creator, do we not understand the privilege that comes from walking in His will? Do we not understand the extent of the power of His glory? Do we not understand how immensely powerful His finished work on the cross was and how vast His blessings are to those who completely trust and rely on Him?
We have taken away the value of what it means to be a Godly man. We have taken away the value of what it means to be a Godly woman. And we continue to take away the value of who God is.
If we desire to live in peace with one another and see the end (Christ’s return) come, then perhaps we need to ascribe God the value He is due. When we do that, we also will be ascribing value to Godly men, Godly women, prayer, worship, and everything else that follows.
Pray big. Worship whole-heartedly. Ascribe infinite value.