Family comes together. The turkey and dressing gets put in the oven. The pumpkin pie sits out, ready to be devoured. It’s Thanksgiving! We are hungry and can hardly wait to eat this scrumptious meal, and yet, there is something we hunger for spiritually that we rarely get. We have prayers that never seemed to be answered. We hunger for it, but seem to never find the “recipe” to fill this hungry longing in our souls. But what if we could see our prayers answered? What if we could discover a recipe that would help us have a vibrant and powerful prayer life?
The recipe for a vibrant and powerful prayer life is worship.
Worship means to bow our heads and bend our knees to God’s authority and leadership over our lives. Worship is a response of gratitude and adoration to the One who saved us. Worship involves our hearts, our minds, and our wills in devotion to Him. We worship Jesus as Lord of our lives personally and corporately, but we also worship Him daily by the way we conduct ourselves in life. A Lifestyle Of Worship (LOW) is about getting selflessly low by worshipping Him with our lives. Living like Jesus is our act of worship.
This is lifestyle worship: following the Spirit’s leading in every part of your life. It’s continually asking God, “What do I do next? How should I respond to that? Where do you want me to go, now?” and then following what His Word, both written and spoken into your heart, tells you to do.
True worship is to say, “In response for all You have done for me, Lord, please show me by the power of Your Holy Spirit what You would have me do to show Your great love to others, and I will obey!” You see, the more we desire God’s desires for us, the more our desires will align with His desires, and we will be fulfilling His desires for our lives. That is worship. And we must stay in a place worship because it gets us in a place to listen, so we can pray alongside Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We certainly can pray TO God, but if Jesus is at His right hand interceding for us, and the Holy Spirit is also, then they are praying God’s perfect will, and we can pray WITH them. This is how we see our prayers answered as they align with the Will of God.
Worship gets us in a place to pray WITH God, not TO God
So how do we do this? What is the recipe?
Well, there’s a “worship sandwich“, written by Paul in 1 Thessalonians that says this:
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Bread piece #1: Rejoice. It means “to take joy along with“, or be happy for and with others. And Paul didn’t say “rejoice sometimes” but rather “rejoice ALWAYS”. Wow. That right there is a great challenge for us!!! What can you rejoice in this Thanksgiving? A family member lost a job but just got a new one? Someone saw a dream come true for them? A sick loved one is healed? A sibling you haven’t seen in long time gets to come home? There are many reasons to rejoice. Rejoicing is the first part of our worship sandwich.
Meat: Pray. I like to call prayer “conversational intimacy“. To be so close to the Lord that you talk WITH Him about what is going on in your life, not talk AT Him about what you want to happen in your life. This is not a one-sided conversation but one where we both talk and listen. Listening is the hardest part for us, because we often don’t want to stop long enough to listen. Most often as we stop to listen, we can begin to hear and adjust our selfish prayers to more of a “surrendered” prayer; to more of a prayer that aligns with the will of God.
Bread piece #2: Give Thanks. In ALL circumstances. How? How in the world would I give thanks for the circumstances I find myself in right now? They are too horrible and too hard to be thankful for them. And yet, if we trust God and His Word, we can with confidence know that He works all things out and grows me in it all….to discover more about Him and recover more about myself.
After the BIG Thanksgiving meal, there’s nothing like going back later for leftovers, and the enjoyment of more scrumptious food! Boy, how happy I would be to have my Mama’s dressing every day!!! What if we started making us a “worship sandwich” every day? It’s God’s Will….God’s desire for us. I double-dog dare you to eat your fill of a “worship sandwich” through the rest of this year, and see how you change, how your prayer life changes, and how more prayers you pray come to pass.