Why Prayer Goes Hand-in-Hand With Worship

 Why Prayer Goes Hand-in-Hand With Worship

Worship is more than singing songs of praise. It is the primary ingredient to prayer. Although it’s popular to make a distinction between a “prayer of worship” and a prayer of petition, a prayer of intercession, or a prayer of confession, I would venture to say to say that all categories of prayer are constrained to worship.

Prayer is humble communication to God, and to be in the presence of God is to be aware of His holiness, which leads to worship. There is no one like Him. He is completely “other”. Acknowledging God’s holiness through worship is essential to each category of prayer. Let’s discuss the relationship in each classification:

Worship in prayers of petition

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3). For prayer to be affective you must know the God you pray to and with this mind acknowledge the truth of who He is through worship.

One expression of worship is thanksgiving. We are told in Philippians 4:6 “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” When we approach God and recount the many ways He has blessed us, it clears out “self” and makes room for thoughtful prayer according to His will (not ours).

Acknowledging who God is, and a willful submission to His plan are also forms of worship, both of which are demonstrated in the Lords prayer: The first, acknowledgment of God’s holiness is, “Our Father who art in heaven, holy is your name”; and the second, worship through submission, states “thy will be done”. Both forms of worship are made prior to any petition if we wish to be heard. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15).

Worship in prayers of confession

Acknowledgement of God’s holiness lays us bare before him, uncovers sin and should result in confession. Isaiah, when confronted with the holiness of God said, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5). True confession is born of a heart that sees and knows God. Concede God’s holiness and confess your sins so that you will be heard. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, God won’t hear us (Psalm 66:18 NKJV).

One of my favorite passages in scripture is Psalm 24. It is a discourse on God’s holiness and our inability to approach Him due to our sinfulness. If you read the passage you will notice the question of our moral character and need for repentance, is not even brought into the discussion until God’s glory is first defined. “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. (Psalm 24:3-4). Worship precedes our prayers of confession.

Worship in prayers of intercession

Colossians 1:9-12 is a beautiful example for us on intercessory prayer. The essence of the passage is that we petition God on behalf of another that they would know the will of God; seek out the glory of the Lord resulting in wisdom and spiritual understanding; grow in the knowledge of God; be strengthened with power according to God’s glorious might; and be filled with gratitude. All these things are fruit produced out of a heart of worship.

I like what Oswald Chambers says about intercessory prayer, that it is not putting yourself in someone else’s place, but rather “it is putting yourself in God’s place; it is having His mind and His perspective.” It echoes what Romans 12:2 says: “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”

One last point

Worship (acknowledging God’s worth) prepares our mind for effective prayer, which in turn results in even deeper worship. The two are intrinsically linked and cannot be separated. Rehearse the ways God has been faithful to you, and express specific gratitude to Him; once you do, you will be able to pray more effectively and realize the rewards of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). It is this kind of expectancy in prayer which leads us back to worship.

By: Kristi Winkler is a contributing writer.

A veteran eLearning developer, writer/editor, and business software analyst. Her writing gives a voice to the ministry experts she consults with and interviews.

Trust in The Lord

It's simple. It's short. Yet it's incredibly powerful. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible–with good reason. It sets forth a life-changing truth that is worthy of our attention. Spend three minutes reading this article, and see if you agree.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Let's break down this life-changing truth to make sure we understand it.


Trust in the Lord.

It starts with trust. Any real relationship has to start with some level of trust. It's the only way a friendship will endure. It's the only way a marriage will work out. It's the simple reason why an employer hires workers, or why the workers stay employed. It's all about trust. Trust in the Lord, however, takes on an entirely new dimension. This is our trust in an eternal, all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving God. He is worthy of our trust. The trust is important, not just because of who God is, but because of the way in which we must trust him: with all your heart. It involves every fiber of your being. That's the kind of trust we can have in God–a complete, unshakable, deep, abiding trust.

If you are a Christian, you trusted God for salvation. You can trust Him with the rest of your life, too–every detail.

Do Not Lean on Your Own Understanding

Read part 1 first, Trust In The Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Don't Lean on Your Understanding

The verse involves a positive–something you must do. But it also involves a negative–something you must not do. Don't lean on your own understanding. Basically, the verse is telling us that we ought not to be self-reliant. We cannot pursue a course of action, a financial decision, a business move, a relationship, or an educational choice, simply based on our own understanding. It must be founded in our trust in God.

Self-reliance is such a deceptive trap. We begin to pride ourselves in something–our savvy, our looks, our intellect, our spirituality, our family, whatever. And when we do, it takes away our trust in the Lord. It has become trust in self. The result is a dangerous compromise that will lead to destruction.


Instead, Acknowledge God. In Everything.

The antidote to this self-reliance is found in the first command of the verse. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Which is developed in the next verse: “In all your ways acknowledge him.” The word “acknowledge” isn't merely a polite tip of the hat to the Man Upstairs, or a few words of grace over your meal, or even perfunctory attendance at church to let Him know we're still cool with what He's doing. It's way more. It's allowing Him access, control, command, and involvement in all your ways.

What's the result of this? Will God ruin your life? Will he be a Sovereign Killjoy? Will He rob you of fun? The verse ends on a promise. What is it?


He will make your paths straight.

The promise is put in the form of a metaphor. What does it mean to have straight paths? Several things. First, paths lead toward an end–a destination, a goal. Thus, trusting God wholeheartedly in every area of life gives your life a sense of purpose and priority. Second, it indicates that there will be a clear understanding of where you are going and what you are doing. It makes daily decision-making an easier and less painful task. You realize you are trusting Him. He, in turn, is making your paths straight. Thus, the way ahead is more apparent. Third, “straight paths” suggests moral purity. It suggests a life that has less of sinful compromise and more of wholesome attitudes, actions, and behavior.

That's the kind of life that God promises. It's the kind of life that you can have. It begins with trust. It involves acknowledging God in every way.