"Our Father in heaven..."
From start to finish, this model prayer contains many thoughts to stir worship and praise to our Father in heaven. This is the second short devotional reflecting on these inspired, prayerful words uttered by the King of Kings. As we get our heart and thoughts into the word of God, may the word of God get into our thoughts and hearts.
The first quiet time in this series dealt with the Fatherhood of our loving God. This one will address thoughts on group prayer and worship. We are to go to our closet and pray in secret without fanfare. The Lord also teaches us to be a community of prayer and worship as well.
Psalm 22:3 paints his picture of the Lord God's throne...
Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Our Father, our Hallowed Father sits enthroned on the praises of His people. Heaven is his throne - our praise helps connect us there. Worship brings heaven to earth and earth to heaven. Praise reaches for the eternal, divinely drawing together the eternal and the ephemeral. Magnificence meets mankind. Splendor sanctifies sinners. Lofty lifts the lowly. Glory greets the dreary. Holy meets humanity. God and man connect intimately in worship.
This is only possible by Jesus's death and resurrection. What a blessing! Christians are the only authorized people to approach God's Holy throne of grace in worship- through Jesus. Is there a greater privilege? Is there a higher calling? And in it all, we are wholly unworthy as any other people on earth - except for Jesus' ressurection and death.
Because of this, should we not start our prayers with passionate humility and gratitude saying
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name!" ?
Here are some scriptures to reflect on this more deeply.
Drink them in slowly and search your heart's understanding. Do you have this intimate knowledge of God in the core of your mind, soul and being? Is your heart overflowing with thankfulness?
- II Corinthians 2:14
- I Peter 2:4-5
- Hebrews 13:15
- Colossians 2:6-7
- II Corinthians 9:15
Community Worship and Prayer
All of us in Christ can access God while ALONE, anytime, anywhere in any manner with a humble heart. We are all children of God and have instant access individually to the throne of grace to humbly find mercy. See thoughts here Yet and still, God calls us to pray, repent, worship serve and live for Christ as a community. The church is that community.
For example, Ed Anton has done extensive, edifying studies on repentance for the church. One point of interest is the AMOUNT of Biblical references to community repentance versus individual accounts of repentance. This is what the research showed...
Used with permission from Commonwealth Academy
Over 90% of references to repentance are Community Based in the word of God. References to prayer and worship point to the same conclusions. We ought to worship and pray as a group. God sits "enthroned on the praises of Israel."
Here are some thoughts on "Community Christianity" from CS Lewis: “You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trades union, people talk about the ‘spirit’ of that family, or club, or trades union. They talk about its ‘spirit’ because the individual members, when they’re together, do really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they wouldn’t have if they were apart (This corporate behaviour may, of course, be either better or worse than their individual behaviour). It is as if a sort of communal personality came into existence. Of course it isn’t a real person: it is only like a person.”
-Mere Christianity page 95 “The Good Infection”
Looking at the Psalms, Israel's "Songs of the Kingdom" and realizing that the vast majority of praise, worship, exaltation, acclamation, prayers, rejoicing and thanksgiving flooding from its pages are community, corporate references i t is easy to see the significance of this.
I believe when Jesus taught us to pray, he unassumingly started with the words "OUR" Father. My desire is to grasp the beauty of this thought. God is for everyone and He alone deserves to be praised by everyone. Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Digging Into the Scriptures
Here are some scriptures on Community Worship... Do these describe your heart? Do these describe your congregations' heart? What can you do to help get the Community of Christ to grow into this heart more and more?
- Colossians 3:15-16
- Psalm 66:1-2
- Revelation 5:11-14
- Isaiah 24:15-16
- Psalm 122:1-3
- II Chronicles 5:12- 7:1
- Deuteronomy 10:20-21
Next Section : "Hallowed Be Your Name"
May God move our hearts to complete humility, gratitude and overflowing praise - in word and deed.