PRAISE AND WORSHIP THE LORD
You cannot have intimate, open, honest, transparent, 2-way communication with Jesus until you are
able to block out all distractions and be fully and totally focused on Jesus. You need to be hungry
and ready to hear His voice. Your heart needs to be ready and prepared to hear Him and then respond
to whatever He tells you. You need to have a worshipful and soft and willing and trusting and
obedient heart ... a heart that loves God fully. That is what a true worshipper of God is.
* GOD INHABITS THE PRAISES OF HIS PEOPLE; YOUR AWARENESS OF GOD'S PRESENCE AND YOUR FOCUS ON HIM IS MADE GREATER WHEN YOU PRAISE/WORSHIP HIM; YOU ARE SENSITIZED TO HIS PRESENCE.
- "... O THOU THAT INHABITS THE PRAISES OF ISRAEL." - PSALM 22:3
- " SURELY I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS." - MATTHEW 28:20
* YOUR PRAYER TIME & EVERY DAY SHOULD BEGIN WITH PRAISE SO YOU CAN GET MORE FOCUSED ON GOD'S PRESENCE.
Why do you think church services start with praise & worship ? First to express your love and adoration for God, to glorify and please Him, and also so you can get your focus on Him so you can reverently listen to Him speaking to you and then respond to Him. (See Ecclesiastes 5:1)
"Being self centered blinds us to God and his love, and hinders the love relationship. We'll have a hard time trusting God, hearing God, obeying God, experiencing God, and knowing God." - Experiencing God
It is natural for humans to be focused on self, and to be self-centered. We all need God to touch and change and cleanse our hearts so that we can stop being self-centered and become God-centered and Kingdom-centered and focused people.
* YOU CANNOT INTIMATELY COMMUNICATE WITH GOD UNTIL YOU'VE MADE A CONNECTION & YOU'RE FOCUSED ON HIS PRESENCE.
You cannot have good intimate communication until you first are ready and willing to hear what God has to say. You need to take your focus off of everything around you and fully focus on God. In order to hear God speak to you, you need to be ready and willing to hear Him and then follow and obey whatever He tells you or however He leads you. Listening is not merely hearing God speak, but acting upon it. (Review page 17 - True Worship of God ... notice that as you go down the list of what true worship of God is, it involves reverently listening to Him, and obeying Him, and ultimately surrendering and giving all of yourself to Him.
* PRAISE GIVES THE GLORY TO GOD, IT LIFTS OUR SPIRITS, AND IT SETS THE TONE FOR YOUR TIME WITH GOD AND YOUR WHOLE DAY.
- ONCE YOU REALIZE WHO YOU ARE WITH, YOU ARE HUMBLED, YOUR HEART IS SOFTENED, AND YOU ARE READY TO LISTEN. (ISAIAH 6:1-8; 1:19,20) (EX. 33:13)
- ONCE YOU FOCUS ON GOD, YOU CAN ENJOY HIS PRESENCE (PS.16:8-11)
- "YOU WILL KEEP IN PERFECT PEACE HIM WHOSE MIND IS STEADFAST, (WHOSE MIND IS FIXED ON THEE) BECAUSE HE TRUSTS YOU." - ISAIAH 26:3 (PSALM 25:15)
* PRAISE IS A "GARMENT" THAT COVERS & PROTECTS YOU FROM BITTERNESS, AND FROM COMPLAINING, AND FROM UNGRATEFULNESS, AND FROM A SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS:
- "... A GARMENT OF PRAISE INSTEAD OF A SPIRIT OF DESPAIR." - ISAIAH 61:3
* GOD WANTS YOU TO DEVELOP A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP AND PRAYER AND BEING THANKFUL:
"BE JOYFUL ALWAYS; PRAY CONTINUALLY; GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR THIS IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS." - I THES. 5:16-18
You need develop a lifestyle of worship, prayer /communicating with God, and being thankful: the more you know God, the more you will worship & rejoice in Him, the more you will trust Him and want to talk to Him about everything in your life, and the more thankful you will be.
" REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS... THE LORD IS NEAR. DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, BUT IN EVERYTHING, BY PRAYER AND PETITION, WITH THANKSGIVING (thank God for His answers to your prayers before you see them, thank Him for caring & for being near) PRESENT YOUR REQUESTS TO GOD. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH TRANSCENDS ALL UNDERSTANDING, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS." - PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7
"THROUGH JESUS, THEREFORE, LET US CONTINUALLY OFFER TO GOD A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE-- THE FRUIT OF LIPS THAT CONFESS HIS NAME.... FOR WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS WELL PLEASED." - HEBREWS 13:15-16
* GOD WANTS YOUR PRAISE & WORSHIP OF HIM TO BE GENUINE AND FROM A HEART OF TRUE LOVE & ADORATION FOR GOD:
- "YET A TIME IS COMING & HAS NOW COME WHEN THE TRUE WORSHIPERS WILL WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT & TRUTH, FOR THEY ARE THE KIND OF WORSHIPERS THE FATHER SEEKS. GOD IS SPIRIT, AND HIS WORSHIPERS MUST WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH." - JOHN 4:23,24
* TRY PRAISING GOD IN THE BAD TIMES THAT HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE, NOT JUST DURING THE GOOD TIMES- IT WILL LIFT YOUR SPIRITS
- "AND WE KNOW THAT IN ALL THINGS GOD WORKS FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE... TO CONFORM US TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON." - ROMANS 8:28-29
* WORSHIP IS A REFLECTION OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
* EXAMPLES OF PRAISING AND WORSHIPPING GOD:
- "TRUE WORSHIP OF GOD"
- PRAISE GOD FOR HIS CHARACTER
- READ A PSALM OF PRAISE TO GOD (PSALM 8,19,23,46,95,100,103,148,149,150)
- READ A BIBLE PASSAGE OF PRAISE TO GOD (LK. 1:46-55; I CHRON. 29:11-13)