Monday, November 17, 2008

Key to God's Heart - Prayer & Worship

I've been mulling this post over in my head for almost a week now. Trying to determine how best to approach the subject. In the past year I've been on a very serious pursuit to know the heart of the Lord. In the past it has all been about knowledge for me. Studying God's Word, disecting it, reading the interpretations of others. When it came to church I was totally into the Bible study part of fellowship - doing studies, having discussions. However, the prayer and worship part of fellowship was always lacking for me. I would pray in private a little each week and I would listen to Christian worship music, but I just did not "get" these two things and I honestly felt no desparate need to "get" them. I was often distracted during times of prayer and worship and could not wait to get into what I viewed as the "meat" of things.

However, I've realized now that I had things all wrong. I've recently heard a quote (not sure of it's source) that really hit home for me.

The Bible isn't a magic book . . . we don't open it and the Light shines up in our face. The Light is in us and shines down on the page and illuminates the written word.

No matter how much I study God's Word, if He is not giving me His Wisdom, I will not get it. That is why so many individuals can read the Bible, study it in depth and still not Believe. God needs to touch our hearts first, He needs to illuminate our hearts so we can understand His thoughts. I've come to realize to fully understand God's Word I first need the key. What is the key to understanding God's Word? I believe it is understanding God's heart. This is done through prayer and worship.

Let me explain. If want to get to know someone, want to develop a relationship with someone, how do you do this? By reading about them? Doing research on their past, their present, their thoughts for the future? That may help you to gain a surface understanding of the person. But to really get to know them, to understand their heart, their desires, their dreams - you need to spend time with them face to face. You need to talk to them, reveal your heart to them and allow them to reveal their heart to you. God is the same way. He desires a relationship with us, He wants to reveal His Heart to us and wants us to do the same with Him. This means we need to spend time with Him face to face and talk to Him. This can't be done just by reading His Word. Prayer and worship is the key that unlocks our heart to what God truly wants to show us - His Unconditional Love for us!

God tells us that His ways and thoughts are above ours, that the Wisdom of God is foolishness to those who do not believe. Worship and prayer opens our hearts to see past the wisdom of man to the True Wisdom of God. It speaks to us at a level that involves not only our mind, but also our heart and soul. It allows God to speak to our innermost being and change us from the inside out. It allows Him to truly dwell within us and guide us in our walk with Him. Most of all it allows us to learn to focus on Him and His Kingdom no matter what we are going through in this world. It helps us to see past the flimsy reality of this world to the true reality of God's Kingdom.

In the past year God has used my reality here in this imperfect world to teach me about His perfect love for me. I prayed to better understand His heart and He answered that prayer by teaching me about prayer and worship, the importance of it in my life and in my understanding of His Word.

I recently heard Eddie Boasso speak here at RHOP regarding the importance of Day and Night Prayer. If you are able to listen to this podcast I highly recommend it. I found this message to be very convicting and highly encouraging.

In the end, I'm still in a learning process, probably always will be. I'm definitely not anywhere near being an expert on prayer or worship. But I do recognize the importance of these things in my life. I desire more and my prayer is that God continues to teach me and draw me closer to Him. That He continues to fan the flame He has lit inside me to pursue Him in a deeper relationship. To more fully understand the Love that transcends all and resulted in the Lord giving up everything to become human and give His life for me. A love that will allow me to spend eternity as Jesus' Bride, eternity in heaven worshiping my Creator.

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