Tag Archives: worship

Only Prayer

As I watch the news lately, I can hardly believe all the horrible things that are happening throughout the world. Innocent children used as pawns at the border crossing. Children and other civilians used as human shields in Gaza. The horror of war. The desperation of Israel, just trying to exist while surrounded by people who hate them so much that they want every Jewish person annihilated. And then there’s the religious persecution of Christians.

What can we do? The needs are endless. My resources are few.

I can send money. But then, what?

I can make these needs known in my small corner of the world.

I can blog about it. Perhaps my words will move someone else to do what they can to bring attention and aid to these poor suffering people.

Sometimes I forget my most powerful weapon: PRAYER.

Jesus left us the perfect example of the man or woman who walks closely with God. He went off to a quiet place each day to talk to His God. I hope we also do that daily, not only for our own spiritual sustenance, but to entreat Him for mercy and provision for the victims of evil.

Yesterday I was reading in the book of Revelation. In Revelation chapter five, the Lamb: Jesus Christ, is worthy to take the scroll from God. As He does so, twenty-four elders fall down before Him. They are holding harps (for musical worship) and vials filled with incense (containing the prayers of the saints.)

The prayers of the saints.

Never think that our worship and our intercession for others is insignificant to God. If they are mentioned in heaven, then they have indeed reached Jesus, who intercedes for His saints.

I was struck by this mention of our prayers. They are precious to our Lord.

The Lord listens to the prayers of His saints. The Word of God promises it.

Lets pray and pray and pray for the world, for those who are victims of horrible, hateful religious fanatics, and for those who hate God and want to throw off His yoke—however righteous and gracious it is— forever.

Pray for Israel.

But also pray for those who hate Israel.

Pray for the persecuted and those who are being used.

But also pray for the haters and those who only value their own profit and power even at the cost of many innocent lives.

Lets fall on our faces before our precious Savior and intercede for the whole world. Lets pray every day and as often as we hear of more trouble.

“Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open.”( Ephesians 6: 23 The Message)

Raucous Praise

The other evening my husband and I decided to go out to dinner.

We went to a Japanese/hibachi style restaurant. Since we arrived so early, we were the only patrons in the restaurant, so we got undivided attention.

The food was wonderful and artfully prepared.

Somehow Bruce secretly let the hostess know that my birthday was only a couple of days away. So when it was time for dessert, the hostess, two cooks, and two I-don’t-know-IMG_3186whats emerged from the kitchen with the strangest looking percussive instruments I’ve ever seen. I’m a musician but I couldn’t summon a name for even one of them.

The group paraded through the aisles and surrounded our table. Then we were “treated” to a raucous, off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday.” I thought, somewhere in this world, most likely Asia, these instruments are well known and the listeners delight to the individual sounds they produce.

But to my western ears, they sounded liked clanging pieces of iron. It kind of reminded me of that funny scene in “The Christmas Story” where the family’s Thanksgiving turkey has been devoured by the neighbors’ dogs, so they go to the only restaurant open on Thanksgiving: a Chinese restaurant. There, the family is treated to an adorable rendition of “Deck the Halls,” sung by waiters with very, very strong Chinese accents.

A couple of days later, Bruce and I sat in church and sang worship songs accompanied by the usual and beautiful  piano, guitars, percussion, and voices.

My heart swelled at the beauty of the music and the glory of the words.

I suddenly remembered our dining experience at the hibachi restaurant. I thought, this is Sunday morning, or almost Sunday morning in most places of the world. What must it sound like to heaven’s ears with all the different sounding instruments, the strange tongues, the different styles of singing, all making music simultaneously? To my ears it would sound strange, maybe even chaotic. But the Lord understands all tongues and cultures and reads all hearts and minds. The sound of the world’s worship must sound very different to Him.

Oh, may I come to delight in these sounds in the same way.

May I never think that just because my way of worship is familiar that it is in any way superior or more cherished by my Heavenly Father.

Wouldn’t it be grand to be able to sit far up in the atmosphere, so far up that you could view half of the world? Imagine being able to hear all the various sounds of worship. Imagine, also, if angels joined in the singing.

I like to remind myself each Sunday that I’m not just singing inside of a building, heard only by  few individuals sitting nearby.

The ceiling of the church sanctuary is no barrier to the witnessing eyes of God and His angels. They see and hear all of it. In each church. Everywhere.

What an awesome thought!

“Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power: praise Him for His surpassing greatness.

Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourines and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.” (Psalm 150 NIV Bible)

5 Ways NOT to Multi-task.

A few months ago I was driving into downtown Estes Park. The driver in the other lane right next to me was driving erratically. One time she entered my lane and almost side-swiped me. The light turned red but she only saw it at the last moment and screeched to a stop.

I glanced into her car. On her lap was a cell phone. She was texting.

My stomach tightened. What if she hadn’t seen the red light and plowed into the pedestrians just then crossing the walk?

When the light turned green, she didn’t notice because she was still texting. In my lane I had to wait for a green arrow so I had ample opportunity to see how many seconds ticked by before she noticed the green light. I glanced in my rear-view window and saw the irritated looks of the drivers behind her.

So many drivers ignore the law about not texting while driving. I think they believe they can handle both tasks well.

What I witnessed proves that false.

I think a lot of Christians have the same confident mind-set about multi-tasking even during worship at church. “I can check my emails, drink coffee, converse with people in the same row of seats, and try to mentally process solutions to a problem at work, and still give the Lord His due while singing hymns or praise songs.”

We all do it. Our minds flit between worship and fleshly concerns.

The next time you enter church for worship, or your place at home to spend some time with the Lord, decide not to multi-task.

  1. Quiet your heart. Set other thoughts aside. Focus on God. Really focus.
  2. Think about who God is. Give Him your sincere adoration.
  3. Thank Him for all He has done. If you sing, really think about the words of the song. Make it your ambition to do more than just go through the motions.
  4. Ask the Lord to help you see Him for Who He truly is. And to love Him more and more.
  5. If a thought not related to worship enters your mind, set it aside.

After all, Image is worship of our God truly worship if we are only halfway engaged in the act?


“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.” (Psalm 95:1-7 NIV Bible)