Confirming the Faith: Tools for Worship and Prayer
1. Worship arose out of identifying multiple “things” that caused me to turn to God. Some of the following illustrate what I mean:
Going to a worship service at a church.
Going to a group meeting, youth group, study group, special type of gathering.
Reading the Bible and being challenged or moved in a special way to know more of God.
Listening to music that touches me in a way that causes me to understand more about God.
Sometimes going away and being alone caused me to see God in a different way.
2. Worship often caused me to wonder about myself and what life is about. When I first started to get into worship I felt like God was untouchable. As time went on I discovered that I was the one that needed to change the way I was thinking and looking at life. I began to see that God was concerned about people and the world I was a part of. I had to start making a conscious statement about life. I could no longer drift through life without paying attention.
3. Books often brought me to worship. A book I read while in college was The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. Then while in seminary I read The Idea of the Holy by Rudolph Otto. Two different authors, two different emphases, yet both powerful in their own right. Reading and prayer form a good partnership. The two create a discovery process when applied to the life situations.
4. Many years ago a speaker came to a chapel service. This speaker shared the following thoughts about prayer. I have used this outline many times:
It was said that when these four thoughts are used as an outline for prayer a very strong prayer is constructed. God is given praise, adoration. Confession then follows as an element of humility. Thanksgiving is the freedom to identify how God is working in our lives. Supplication becomes the opportunity to bring our needs and concerns before God.
5. Another thought on Prayer arises from a book by Rosalind Rinker entitled Conversational Prayer, a Handbook for Groups. It was a very simple concept of talking to God as if you were talking to the person next to you. The structure of prayer was to use sentences that build on the words of others around you. As you did this it was like having a group conversation with each person adding to the conversation. This concept also opened me to understand that prayer could be based on talking to God whenever and wherever I found myself.
6. Another tool is posture. Kneeling while reading with an open Bible in front of you, then asking God how the text relates to your own situation or the situation for someone you are praying for.
7. The Bible has many verses that deal specifically with worship and prayer. Here are a few of the most well known verses:
John 4:24 talks about worshipping God in spirit and truth.
James 4:8 tells us that as we draw near to God, God will draw near to us.
Matthew 4:10 speaks of worshipping and serving the Lord going hand in hand.
John 9:31 speaks of God hearing those who do God’s will.
1 Peter 3:12 speaks of the prayers the Lord hears.
Luke 18:9-14 tells the story about the proper attitude in prayer .
Matthew 6:5, 7, speaks of the words used in prayer.
James 1:6-7 says how important faith is in prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that fervent prayer is necessary.
Ephesians 5:19 talks about using psalms, hymns and song in prayer.
Hebrews 13:15 talks of the roll of saying thank you in prayer.
James 5:13 speaks of facing healing, suffering, both an outgrowth of prayer.
One of the purposes of Confirmation is to encourage each participant to discover a set of tools that helps your relationship with God to keep on growing.