WORSHIP-1 - Worshiping in Prayer
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“Lesson 1-Worshiping in Prayer”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
The scripture says, “God is spirit and those worship him must worship
in spirit and in truth,” John 4:24.
We welcome you today to our study of the subject of worship.
Worship is one of great things you find in the Bible, as man has that ability
and that privilege to humble himself before his maker and to praise and
honor and magnify God for the many wonderful blessings and benefits He's
given for His children.
In this series of lessons especially, we're going to focus on items or
actions of worship specifically that Christians may do in a corporate
worship setting. When we go to worship on Sunday morning or Sunday
night or when we gather with a group of Christians- what are some of the
things that God has given us the privilege to do in our worship? How do we
do those in such a way that it brings God the glory and the honor that he
As we think about the subject of worship, and Christians especially
gathering together to worship today, we're going to focus on the subject of
prayer. What does the Bible say about prayer? If you've been studying your
Bible long or raised in a family where people believed in God or the church,
you've probably seen that prayer is a vital part of the Christian life.
I want to focus today on that wonderful subject of prayer. As you think
about prayer, Jesus in His own life and ministry illustrated the power of
prayer. In Matthew 13:23, as Jesus had been teaching and healing and
feeding the multitudes, the Bible says that when Jesus had sent the
multitudes away, he went up by himself on the mountain to pray. Jesus
realized in His own life the importance of prayer. It is such a vitally
important subject and part of the Christians' life. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the
Bible says ‘Christians ought to pray without ceasing.’ ‘The effective fervent
prayer of a righteous man overcomes much,’ James 5:16.
We want to illustrate some things. We want to share some things
from the word of God today that will help us to be better in our prayer life
and understand more fully God's plan for prayer.
Let's think first of all about some fundamental Bible teachings that are
very simple about prayer.
Prayer is something the Bible teaches that we must be taught how to
do. We ought to be taught how to pray by God, by the scriptures, and by
Jesus Christ. It's not something that I just wake up one day and naturally
know how to do. God teaches me in His word how to pray. Let me give you
an example of that. Luke, 11:1 the disciples came to Jesus and they said,
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples to pray.” Of
course you could have no better teacher than the master teacher Jesus
Christ on the subject of prayer. I want you to notice something interesting
from that text. Jesus' own disciples wanted to be taught by the master how
Friend, if I'm going to pray the way God wants me to, about the
things God wants me to pray, and in a way that'll bring honor and glory to
God- I need to be taught how to do that from the scriptures. I want to study
Bibles passages that teach us about prayer. I want to see what is that God
teaches me to ask for in prayer. I want to see, does the Bible say that
prayer is just an opportunity to maybe ask God what we need, or is it more
or just as much an opportunity for us to praise and honor and magnify God
with our lips? Prayer is a learned trait. Learned from the scriptures and
learned by looking at examples of men and women who've prayed in the
way God wants them to.
Another fundamental that we learn about prayer is that when I pray, I
need to pray with a firm belief and with a true heart that God will bless us
and answer our prayer if it's according to His will. I want you to notice with
me the words of Jesus in Mark chapter 11. Jesus discusses this idea of
praying with faith or praying with belief. He says this in Mark 11:24. The
Bible says, Jesus speaking, “Therefore I say to you whatever things you
ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.”
Now we understand that that's qualified by praying according to God's will.
That if it's God's will and I pray for it, I don't need to think, ‘well maybe God
will do this or maybe he can do this or.’ Prayer is not a maybe. It's not
something wishful. Jesus taught us to pray with belief. We're praying in
faith. “Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God,” Romans
10:17. If I pray in faith, I know there is a God. I know that God hears the
prayers of His children and that He cares for us and tells us to do that. 1
Peter 5:7 ‘cast all your cares upon Him, He cares for you.’ I know the Bible
teaches that if it's according to God's will, 1 John 5:13-16, that He is more
than able and willing to do that. When I pray, I need to pray with firm belief.
I need to have conviction and faith that God does hear the prayer of his
Another fundamental about prayer that will help us to pray in such a
way that it really brings glory and honor to God is, we need to pray
according to the will of God. I want you to notice a passage from the book
of 1 John with me. It's found in 1 John 5:15, as John teaches us something
very important about prayer. The Bible says, “And we know that he hears
us,” that's God, “whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions that
we've asked of Him.” Now, you'll notice, John says ‘He hears our prayers.’
We know that He hears our prayers. In 1 John 5:14, John tells us why we
can have such confidence in that. Look back one verse to 1 John 5:14.
How can we have such confidence? This is a confidence we have in Him,
notice this, “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” There's
the idea. How can be confident? How can I have such faith that God's
going to hear my prayer and bless that? If I'm asking according to the will of
My friend, here's the contrast to that. Two people stand up to pray.
One fellow stands up, and he praises God. He honors God. He's trying to
live a good Christian life. He prays to God, “Lord, as I'm striving to seek first
your kingdom, please take care of me and my family.” We're talking about
food. We're talking about shelter. We're talking about clothing. We're talking
about spiritually as well. Another man stands up to pray. That man's a
pious man. He's proud in his heart. He thinks that he's the next best thing
to being a Christian that you could ever imagine. He prays God, “Bless me,
make me wealthy, happy, and healthy, and give a million dollars.” Which of
those two men is going to answer the prayer? Which of those two prayers
is going to bring glory and honor to God? Well not the man who's asking for
a million dollars. Not the man who's asking to be wealthy and all these
things. Now God may bless someone in that way- but that's not praying
according to God's will. God's never promised that if I pray for a million
dollars, he's going to bless me with that.
What has God promised? “Seek first the kingdom of God. All these
things shall be added unto you.” I want to pray in a mindset that is
according to the Bible. That's why being taught how to pray is so important.
Sometimes we pray, ‘Don't let us face persecution,’ when in reality the
Bible teaches that I am going to face persecution. “All who desire to live
godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” 2 Timothy 3:12. Why should I
pray for something that God says is going to happen? Instead of praying
that it won't happen, I ought to pray that God will give me the strength, the
courage, and the fortitude of faith to not give in under persecution. This is
why James would say, in James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him
ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be
given to him.” One of the things you ought to pray for is the wisdom to know
how to discern God's word, to know what to ask for in prayer and to pray
according to the scriptures. Let's pray with a mindset of understanding of
God's will, for that's the way that we can truly have confidence in our prayer
As we think about fundamentals that really bring glory and honor to
God, as we worship him in prayer, here's a real important one: When I
approach God's throne in prayer, I want to pray with a very humble and
contrite attitude. Luke 14:11 Jesus said, “Everyone who exalts himself will
be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” I want to have
the humility to know that God's the creator. I need God's mercy and grace.
Without God I would be nothing. I should stand in awe of the almighty
power of God.
Now let me give you an example of this from the scripture. I want to
show you a contrast between two men in the Bible. One prayed with a very
prideful, pious attitude. ‘I'm better than everybody else.’ One prayed with a
very humble and contrite attitude. Listen to the words of Jesus, beginning in
Luke 18:10. The Bible says, “Two men went up to the temple to pray. One
a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, pious, proud man. The
Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I'm not
like other men- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector,
standing far off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat
his breast saying ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’ I tell you, this man, the
tax collector, went down to his house justified, rather than the other.” Why?
“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself
will be exalted.” Look at the contrast in these two men. Here's a man who
says, ‘God, I'm sure glad you didn't make me like everybody else. I'm glad
I'm not an extortioner or unjust. Look how good I am. And not only am I
good, but I do good. I fast, I give tithe, I pray. I do all these things. I'm really
where I need to be, and I'm a good, religious person.’ And then, you've got
another man. Then you've got another man; he knew he wasn't. He knew
he was in sin just like all of us are. He knew he needed God's mercy. He
knew he didn't have a leg to stand on his own. And he just beat his breast,
and he said, ‘God, I'm a sinner, I need your help, please bless me.’ Jesus
said which of those two went home justified? The one who thought he was
right and thought he was it religiously, or the one who prayed in humility
and knew he needed God's mercy and God's saving grace? Well naturally
you know the tax collector went home justified because of his attitude.
And friend, that brings us to another idea. When we pray, let's not
make prayer about us. Let's not use this opportunity to have people say,
‘wow, look at how good they can pray, or look at how religious.’ We don't
want the focus to be on me. Jesus said, “Don't pray like the hypocrites.”
What do you mean, don't pray like the hypocrites? Let me illustrate that for
you. Notice Matthew 6:5. Jesus said, “And when you pray, you shall not be
like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing the synagogues, and on
the corners of the street, here's the reason, that they may be seen by men.
Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go
into your room. When you shut the door, pray to your father who is in
heaven and your father who sees in secret, father who is in the secret
place, and your father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when
you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think
they'll be heard for their many words.” Don't have an attitude of, ‘I want this
to be an opportunity for everybody in church to see the big words I use, to
see how well I can string those words together, to see how eloquent I am,
to listen to me and walk away thinking I am really religious.’ That's not what
Jesus said. Jesus said it's not about you. Prayer is not about what you
want to receive. It's God's reward, and God wants to have a humble,
contrite heart, to pray from the heart, and to it not for us to receive the
glory, but for God to receive the glory.
Here's another very important fundamental about prayer. The Bible
teaches that when I pray, I ought to pray in the name of, or by the authority
of Jesus Christ. I'm to be humble. I'm to pray according to God's will. In my
prayer, I need to approach God as the Bible teaches through the authority
and in the name of His son Jesus Christ. Where do we find that in the
Bible? John 14:13-14 Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in my name, that I
will do, that the father may be glorified in the son. If you ask anything in my
name, I will do it.” There's the qualification. There's an “if” there. If- that's a
qualification. That's a condition. “If you ask in my name, if you pray in my
name.” When you talk about praying in the name of Jesus, we're talking
about praying by His authority.
‘God, we approach you through the authority and power and in the
name of your son.’ That's the idea. We're giving God and Christ the glory.
I'm praying according to the will of God. When we think about prayer, we
also in every aspect of worship, prayer not only needs to come from the
heart, and from the emotion- we want to pray with the spirit, and with the
understanding. I want to think about what I'm praying. I don't want it be just
mumbling or repeating as Jesus said ‘some vain repetition that I'm not
thinking about.’ Here's what the scripture says. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians
14:15, ‘I'll pray with the spirit and the understanding and I'll sing with the
spirit and I'll sing with the understanding.’ I want to pray with the spirit.
That's the emotion, that's the human side. Think about all that God has
done for us. Think about what a wonderful privilege it is to be a child of
God. I approach God with humility of spirit and recognize that privilege.
I also want to pray with understanding. I want to think about what I'm
saying. I want to use the intellect in the mind that God gave me to think
about what the scripture's teaching. I want to pray not only just with my
emotion, but with truth and with my intellect as well. That's a very important
part on the subject of prayer.
Now, as you think about prayer, I believe, I believe most Christians
understand the importance of it. I believe we recognize the fundamentals,
many of the fundamentals that the Bible teaches about prayer, but breaking
that down into something that we take the time to do every day, is
sometimes the struggle that we face. Now you answer it for yourself. Do
you really pray as much as you want to pray? Or as much as you ought to
pray? Do you really take the time to pray like you know God wants you to?
And to give God the honor and the glory in your life? Friend, let me mention
just real briefly maybe some plans, some guidelines from the Bible that'll
help prayer to be more of a practical part of your life.
What can I do to make prayer more practical to really utilize it in my
life? Here are some examples. Jesus stands as the prime example of
starting your day with prayer. Mark 1:35 the Bible says of Jesus, ‘and in the
morning, a great while before daylight, he departed, when to a solitary
place, and there prayed.’ What's a practical plan for prayer? Start everyday
with prayer. When your feet hit the floor, when you hit the button on the
coffee pot, you stand in front of the mirror to see how you look for the day-
remember prayer is just as important as all those things. It is more
important than all those things, and it needs to be a part of starting every
day. You wouldn't leave the house without brushing your hair or brushing
your teeth or dressing nicely or whatever you may do in your morning
routine- make prayer a part of that routine.
Here's another plan, a practical idea that relates to making prayer a
part of your life, and especially your children's life- Daniel chapter six. It's a
great example of how to put prayer in our life. Daniel had been told by the
evil king. The command went out. ‘When you hear the sound, you're only to
pray to this image that the king has made. Anybody that doesn't do that is
going to be placed in prison or is going to face a heavy penalty.’ In Daniel
chapter six, ‘when Daniel heard that prayer, Daniel in defiance of the king
and in honor of God, with his windows open to Jerusalem, prayed three
times that day as was his custom from early days.’ Daniel had been taught
at a very young age and had made prayer a good habit. Friend, there's
nothing wrong with having a habit of prayer, is there? There are some very
good habits that we have, and I want to make prayer a habit in my life. I
want to make it a habit in your children's life, a good habit, something that
the day doesn't feel right if I don't do that in my life.
Another practical plan for prayer: Prayer ought to be a private time
between me and God and where I can communicate to God. Remember
Matthew 6:6? Jesus said, “Unlike the hypocrites who want to stand on the
street corner and pray the long prayers to be heard of men,” Jesus said,
“When you pray, go into your room, whether it be a closet, whatever it may
be, shut the door, and there pray to God.” Prayer is a time to communicate
with the father and to give Him the honor and the glory. Psalm 55:17, the
psalm said, “Morning, evening, and noon I cry unto you.” There's a good
practical plan, pray in the morning. Pray at noon. Pray at evening. All three
of those are very important things that the Christian ought to incorporate
into making prayer a practical part of his life.
Now, let me mention some things specifically. This list is by no means
exhaustive, but let me briefly mention some things that the Bible teaches
Christians ought to pray about on a regular basis.
Number one, the Bible teaches we ought to pray for the lost. Matthew
9:36-38. Jesus looked out on the multitudes of people and He said to His
disciples, “Pray that the harvest is plentiful, the labors are few, pray the lord
of host will send laborers into His harvest.” Pray that the gospel can be
taken to the lost. Pray that lost souls can be saved and that men and
women can overcome sin and become a part of God's family. Pray to
overcome sin and temptation. Jesus taught us Matthew 6 where he taught
his disciples in Matthew six, ‘lead us not into temptation.’ Luke 18:1, “Men
ought always to pray, and never lose heart.” Every day, I'm going to face
temptation. Every day the devil's going to do his best to defeat me and to
lure me. I need to pray for the strength to overcome that.
We need to pray as Christians for forgiveness. Acts 8:22-24 Simon
the sorcerer fell into sin. Peter told him ‘Repent and pray, that the evil
thought of your heart might be forgiven.” I want to pray that if I have sin my
life, God will forgive me. Every time I pray, I want to pray something along
those lines. I want to pray for those who are sick and those who are
suffering. Is any among you sick? Let him call for the others, let them pray
over him. The idea is the prayer of faith will save him. If someone's sick, if
someone's hurting, if someone's lost loved ones- I want to pray for God's
hand of healing and mercy to be upon them.
As we mentioned earlier, here's another item that all of us definitely
need to pray for regularly. I want to pray for wisdom. “If any of you lacks
wisdom, let him ask of God, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in
faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, tossed
to and fro by the wind.” I need the wisdom, the ability to take God's truth
and insert that in my daily life to know how to apply God's teaching in such
a way that it'll help me to live a life that honors God and that brings glory
and honor to others as well.
Now here's a thing that we definitely ought to pray for regularly: 1
Timothy 2:1-3, the Bible encourages Christians to ‘pray for kings, leaders,
and for all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life,
and all God bless.’ I'm to pray for the leaders of our world. I'm to pray for
the leaders of our government. I'm ultimately going to pray that they'll obey
the gospel and live according to the Bible. I'm also going to pray that they'll
allow Christians to live their lives in such a way that it brings glory to God
and that they can reach the lost and save them in a world full of sin.
As we've thought about prayer today, our hope in doing this is that
each of us will be encourage to be a people of prayer, and that when we
pray, that we'll bring God the glory and the honor because we're praying in
faith. We're praying for the things God wants to, and we're making prayer a
practical part of our life.
Listen to this beautiful verse about prayer. The Bible says this in
Hebrew 4:16. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we
might find grace and mercy and help in time of need.” Did you know that
through prayer, you can approach God's throne and ask for God's
blessings, praise him, and give God the honor and glory?
We hope in your life that you're giving God the honor and glory. If
you've never obeyed the gospel and you'd like to learn more about what to
do to become a Christian, how do obey the lord's plan to salvation, just
write to us or email us, call us. We'd love to help you with that.
As always, we want to encourage every person to live their life in
such a way that it brings God the glory and the honor.
Study Questions for:
“Worship Series: Lesson 1”
1. According to John 4:24, how should we worship God?
2. According to Matthew 13:23, what did Jesus do after the people left?
3. According to 1 Thessalonians 5:17, how should Christians pray?
4. According to James 5:16, what overcomes much?
5. In Luke 11:1, what did they want to learn?
6. What does Jesus say of prayer in Mark 11:24?
7. According to 1 Peter 5:7, what should we do with our cares? Why?
8. What does 1 John 5:15 tell us about prayer?
9. According to 1 John 5:14, how will we know He hears us?
10. According to James 1:5, what should we pray for?