Tag Archives: worship

The Life-Giving Season of Lent: Giving More of Ourselves to Christ

The season of Lent consists of the forty days (minus Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a time of examining our hearts toward God, and of fasting or abstaining from something in order to give more of ourselves to Christ. The days of Lent also remind us of the time in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil.

Examining Our Hearts

Giving God more of ourselves should always be part of our relationship with Him; however, Lent is an ideal time to examine our hearts regarding our pursuit of God. One way to do this is through the Examen Prayer, which can be used as a daily guide either as you begin or end your day.

We can also begin by asking ourselves a few of the questions below, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in answering them. These questions can include:

  • Am I putting God first in my life, or simply trying to fit Him in?
  • Is there anything in my life that is or has the potential to distract me from God and living for Him?
  • Is there anything in my life that has a hold on me other than or above God and His will?

As we face the truth of our hearts and repent where necessary, we experience greater life in God. In the next section, you’ll find some helpful thoughts related to the last two questions. Continue reading

Why Houses of Prayer and Prayer Rooms

The Lord is zealous for the building of His house of prayer, a place where people from every nation and walk of life may come and meet together for worship and prayer both individually and in community.

In worship we choose to exalt Jesus to first place in our lives. Only from the place of prayer and worship can we effectively reach our communities.

Prayer is found in intimate relationship with God. As Mike Bickle of IHOPKC often shares, prayer is when we agree with what God wants to do. Worship is when we agree with who God is.

The Lord Himself said that His house shall be a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13). More and more we see the Lord stirring His people with a desire to worship and pray without ceasing. This is to be our foundation:

“One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)

The Lord desires believers united in one heart and one mind. Jesus prayed for us to be known by the unity we have with God and each other (John 17:21).

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There Is More to Worship

There is greater meaning to living a life of worship than singing or meeting once in a while at a gathering. There is so much more to worship. We are called to exalt Jesus not simply through a word spoken or a song sung, but by the giving of our lives.

We are called to be devoted to the Lord as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is a part of true worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all…] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable…service and spiritual worship.”
(Romans 12:1 AMPC, emphasis added)

Making a decisive dedication is a lifetime choice of our free will. It is the devotion of all that we are and all that we have to the Lord. Thankfully, He first pours out His love upon us so that we long to do this because of love for Him. Every bridge is burned, every idol cast down. It is never looking back as we surrender our hearts and lives to our Bridegroom King.

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God Is Faithful: He Fights for You

God is helping us grow in spiritual maturity as we surrender and obey in trying times as well as momentous encounters with His goodness.

In caring dearly for us, Father God often brings loving surprises. When we feel weak, He shows up in unexpected ways to reveal His tender love. With His presence He lifts us out of ourselves, drawing us into a heavenly embrace. He reminds us that He is all-powerful yet fully loving.

Through every season of life, God reminds us not to worry or fear. Our heavenly Father sees all, and knows all. He is with us always.

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So Much More: Wisdom for Worship Leaders

What does it mean to be a worship leader? We know it is not simply to sing songs or play music: There is so much more.

A worship leader sets themselves apart to minister to the heart of God and lead others to do the same when we gather as a Body. We serve others by pointing them to the One who gave His life for us and is worthy of our everything.

1. Pursue God above all else

The most important aspect of your life is your relationship with Jesus. The “more” that we long for in every aspect of life is found only in Him (John 17:3), for He only fulfills every longing of our hearts.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you set aside a regular alone time with God, cultivating a closer relationship with Him?
  • Do you feel connected to Him and have an increasing hunger to be with Him?
  • Do you give Him first place in your life and seek to live surrendered to Him?

For those whose answer is no or not really:  Begin by setting aside a regular time to talk with God daily and endeavor to keep the appointment with Him. Pray Scripture-based prayers and from your heart, then journal what you sense the Lord revealing to you. You will never regret building a personal history with God.

Some helpful posts on growing your relationship with God:

2. As you lead, maintain a dominant melody line that others can follow Continue reading