Useful Tips

Features of Prayer and Recent Worship


Dr. Mark Dever, Paul Alexander

Every Sunday morning, we need to decide what we will do when we gather in the church. How to do it and why in this way? Does the word “must” actually apply to church services? Doesn't the Bible give us freedom of choice? In this chapter, we reflect on the biblical reasons for giving Scripture the exclusive right to form and evaluate our liturgical gatherings.

Guiding principle

The guiding principle is that everything we do while we worship together in the church should have a clear foundation in Scripture. Such a clear foundation may take the form of an explicit biblical command or a good and necessary application of the biblical text.1 The regulatory principle has historically competed with the normative principle formulated by Richard Hooker, minister of the Church of England. A hooker, like Martin Luther before him, argued that if a particular practice is not prohibited in the Bible, then the church is free to use it in community life and for joint services. That is, the regulatory principle prohibits everything that is not permitted by Scripture, and the normative principle allows everything that is not prohibited by Scripture.

It is useful to start with the ironic remark of D. A. Carson that “the theologically rich and serious divine services of both parties often have more in common in content than both parties usually agree to admit.” Carson goes on to say that “there is not a single place in the entire New Testament that would establish a clear framework for forms of worship together.”

And indeed it is. However, leading the people of God in joint worship, in a sense, we tie the consciousness of believers to participate in every part of the ministry. Such a binding has a right to exist only if it is clearly supported in the Scriptures, because only the Bible has sufficient authority to captivate the mind and serve as the final criterion in faith and practical life. Not surprisingly, Scripture is replete with examples of God's concern for the ways we worship together.

Worshiping the Purpose of Atonement

Many times in Ref. 310 worship together is called the purpose of the atonement (3:12, 18, 5: 1, 3, 8, 7:16, 8: 1, 20, 2529, 9: 1, 13, 10: 3, 711, 2427). If joint worship is the purpose of redemption, then God should have revealed to His redeemed people exactly what kind of worship He expects from us when we get together. And that is exactly what God does when His people come to Mount Sinai. Could God be so indifferent as to grant the completion of His goal of redemption for the speculations of people who defiled themselves as idols (see Exodus 32)? Of course not! Moreover, God is in Ex. 3:12 promised that His commission to Moses would be confirmed when Israel worshiped God on that very mountain where God appeared to Moses in a burning bush. God chose a place. And when Israel reached Mount Sinai, God greeted His people, giving him detailed instructions regarding the time and actions that should accompany the worship of the people (Exodus 2040). Joint worship is too important for God's purpose in the atonement to allow us to develop its details according to our preferences.

God worships people in the Old Testament

Exodus 20: 4. The second commandment makes it clear that God does not care how people worship Him, and not only that they worship only Him. “Do not make yourself an idol or any image of that which is in heaven above, and that of earth below, and that of water below earth” (Exodus 20: 4). God forbids certain forms of worship, even if these forms were aimed at worshiping Him.

Exodus 32: 110. By making a golden calf, Israel attempted to establish a worship system alternative to the one that had just been revealed to him through Moses in Ex. 2530. God's immediate and harsh reaction indicates how seriously He takes worship of Himself (Exodus 32: 710). We should not worship Him in any way that seems right to us. We must worship Him on His terms and in the manner that He revealed to us. 6

God worships people in the New Testament

John 4: 1924. Jesus told the woman at the well that the worship of the Samaritans was incomplete because it was based on the image of God that is revealed only in the Pentateuch and not in the entire Old Testament (“You [Samaritans] do not know what you worship”, v. 22) . Their sincerity was necessary, but not sufficient. Their worship was incomplete, because proper worship is a person’s response to who God is to the extent of the full revelation that He has given about Himself, and if worship is a reaction to the revelation, then it must correspond to the revelation. 7 Jesus continues, pointing out that God seeks specifically those who will worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (v. 24). In other words, they will worship God through the Spirit that lives in them and in accordance with God's revelation, fully manifested in Jesus Christ. For us, sincerity is also important, but one is not enough. Worship is guided by revelation.

In the first Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 14, the apostle Paul, in his instructions on joint worship, places the prophecy above speaking in tongues (v. 15). But speaking in tongues, “let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others reason” (1 Cor. 14:29). However, how can one reason and evaluate the correctness of what was said in the congregation, if this is not done in the light of Scripture? Paul goes on to say that “God is not a God of disorder, but of peace” (v. 33). God's character revealed to us has a major influence on how we worship God. Even more surprising is the fact that Paul himself, with his apostolic authority vested in him by the Holy Spirit, determines how many prophets led by the same Spirit can speak at the same time! In other words, the apostolic revelation given to Paul by the Spirit even concerns how charismatic spiritual gifts should be manifested in joint worship. Joint worship - even charismatic - is governed by revelation.

Dr. Mark Dever, Paul Alexander, Thoughtful Church Building

4. The prayer movement of the last time will be musical (Isa. 42: 10-13).

Another aspect of the recent prayer movement will be that it will use music. Isaiah focuses on the role of singing and music in the prayer movement of recent times. Music is one of the expressions of the kingdom of God “On earth as in heaven.”

Music is an essential part of our human nature. The human spirit is musical because we are created in the image of God, which is musical. The Bible tells us that the Lord sings about his people:

“With you is the Lord, your God, a mighty Warrior who is able to save. He will rejoice over you, reassure you with love, and rejoice with songs with you. ”(Sof. 3:17, new rus. Per.)

The author of Hebrews describes Jesus praising the praise of the Father (Heb. 2:12). Without a doubt, Jesus is the best singer, musician and songwriter in human history!

Music touches the very depths of the human spirit. The anointed music of worship helps God's people express their love and admiration to God. She also directs them all together in unity, allowing them to sing the same thing to the same Person at the same time. In addition, it helps people learn and remember the truths of God's Word. And most importantly, the anointing of the Spirit on worship music softens our hearts, increasing our ability to receive love from God and return it to Him.

Music is not only pleasant, but also important in God's order. The Holy Spirit has a musical dimension of His nature. God the Father and God the Son sing, create music and enjoy the music. A few years before we started serving the International House of Prayer at Kansas City (IHOPKC), music was not central to our prayer services in the church where I was a pastor. Finally, we added music to our time of prayer and worship, and our meetings were not just tolerant, but enjoyable!

Isaiah called on Israel in the last days to sing while the people were still spiritually barren before fulfilling God's promise of mercy and restoration: “Rejoiced, barren, not giving birth, exclaim and exclaim, tormented by childbirth ... For you will spread to the right and left, and your offspring will take possession of the peoples and inhabit the devastated cities.” (Isa. 54: 1,3)

In a similar way, Isaiah encourages those who are part of the last-time worship movement to sing before we see rebirth. God will raise a prayer movement that will erupt in intercessory singing until the fullness of God's salvation is revealed.

Although music is a hallmark of the recent worship ministry, it is not a Christian music festival. This is the environment in which music is born among those who are rooted in the knowledge of God. Young people especially respond with great zeal. Throughout the world, they see the beauty and dignity of Jesus and how He is worshiped in heaven.

The order of worship established by David included antiphonal (alternating), interactive singing (Ezek. 3:11, Nehem. 12: 8-9, 24), just like worship around the throne of God in heaven (Rev. 5: 8-14). Here in Kansas City, at the International House of Prayer, our harp and bowl intercession model (harp and bowl - Rev. 5: 8 - approx. Lane) includes antiphonal singing and Interactive interaction between the worship team and the intercessors. Antiphonal singing makes it possible to work in command ministry in worship and prayer. It also provides diversity in round-the-clock prayer, making the prayer itself more interesting and sustained.

We have established three ways of antiphonal singing of the Word in our prayer meetings.

Phrase repetition. The singer literally sings the words of the person who prayed or sang in front of him. Repeating the same phrase enhances the effect.

Rephrase Phrases. The singer summarizes the topic in similar words.

Phrase extension. The singer uses completely different words to develop the theme.

Christians should rest for the benefit of body and soul

So, above we talked about bodily labor - their streamlining, which avoids excessive fatigue and multi-care, and spoke about light labor - different types of needlework, which avoids idle time (for example, on a TV or computer). And now briefly say about the rest in general, for which there are also some rules.

During the rest, “take care of that and do what is related to God and the good of the soul.”

John Chrysostom (vol. 8, part 2, On the same subject (about Easter) 3rd): “If you want to keep the Sabbath and festive peace correctly and in conformity with Christ, refrain from worldly worries and activities, and take care of that and do which relates to God and the good of the soul. "

Trinity Leaves (v. 650): “The first and most important rule regarding the use of time is that it does not fly idly - without good and useful deeds, that it should be carried out in accordance with the law of God:“ All time, and the time of every thing under heaven ” (Eccl. 3, 1). Consequently, for all time there is and should be its own thing, and for every thing there is and should be its own time. It is impossible, truly, to believe those who complain about the excess of time, seek and do not find how to spend, or, as they rightly say, “kill time”. This complaint is not from a lack of work, but from a lack of zeal for truly useful things. Could a Christian have something to do, who must know everything that God has given us. ”
Entertainment should “refresh strength, not drain them”, strengthen the spirit, and not upset the strength.

Moral theology of E. Popov (Sins against the 7th commandment, sin: The foundation or one approval of the foundations of entertainment and folk games): "They will say:" Entertainment is useful and necessary for a person. " Truth. But common sense and a Christian conscience approve only those entertainments that refresh the forces, but do not drain them, strengthen the spirit, and do not upset the soul. ”

5. The prayer movement of the last time will be universal (Isa. 24: 14-16, 42: 10-12, Mal. 1:11).

The Holy Scriptures absolutely clearly state that worship and prayer of the last time will spread throughout the earth, even in the most remote and inaccessible places. It contains numerous prophecies about the worldwide worship movement, which will include singing to the Lord from all over the earth:

“Sing unto the LORD a new song, sing unto the LORD, all the earth.” (Psalm 95: 1)

“Sing to the Lord a new song, praise be to Him from the ends of the earth ...” (Isa. 42:10)

King David and others prophesied that a worldwide worship movement would embrace all the kings of the earth.

“And all the kings will worship him, all the nations will serve him.” (Psalm 71:11)

“Lord, all the kings of the earth will glorify you when they hear the words of thy mouth and sing the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great.” (Psalm 137: 4-5)

Isaiah prophesied that worldwide intercessory worship would facilitate Jesus' return:

“Sing to the Lord a new song, praise to Him from the ends of the earth, you, floating on the sea, and everything that fills it, the islands and those who live on them. May the desert and its cities, the villages where Kidar dwell, exalt their voices, may those living on the rocks triumph, may they cry from the tops of the mountains. May they give glory to the Lord, and may he declare his praise on the islands. The Lord will come out as a giant, as a husband of scolding will arouse jealousy, call out and raise a war cry, and show Himself strong against His enemies. ”(Isa. 42: 10-13)

In this prophecy, Isaiah says that the redeemed will worship from the end of the earth to the end until Jesus returns. Simply put, recent worship and prayer will be ubiquitous, even in the most difficult and darkest places, and there they will glorify Jesus (Mal. 1:11). Isaiah emphasized that God's people will sing to the Lord on islands that are often distant and inaccessible (Isa. 42:10). He spoke of worship taking place in the desert, even in Islamic villages such as Kedar in Saudi Arabia and the Village in Jordan (verse 11). The prophecy reveals the jealousy with which the Holy Spirit lifts the worldwide worship movement. Jesus does not come in a vacuum, but in response to a worldwide worship movement.

6. The prayer movement of the last time will be missionary (Rev. 7: 9, 14).

The movement of prayer and worship in the last days will play a very large role in the greatest harvest of souls in history and in the establishment of God's justice on earth (Matthew 24:14, Luke 18: 7-8, Rev. 7: 9, 14). Jesus said that we prayed to the Lord that He would send the laborers to the harvest (Luke 10: 2).

We can see a model of this by studying the life of an early church in which communities like Jerusalem mentioned in Acts. 2, and of Antioch, mentioned in Acts. 13, gathered together for worship and prayer. The result was the sending of missionaries, the beginning of the evangelistic movement, and a large harvest of souls. Jesus linked the round-the-clock prayer to the revelation of justice on earth (Luke 18: 7-8), in the context of the last time (Luke 17: 24-37), with a specific reference to His second coming (Luke 18: 8).

7. The prayer movement of the last time will unite generations (Mal. 4: 5-6).

The prayer movement of the last time will be intergenerational, uniting physical and spiritual fathers and mothers with their children. Malachi prophesied that the Holy Spirit would turn the hearts of the fathers to youth in the generation in which the Lord would return:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Lord’s day, great and terrible. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that when I come, I will not strike the earth with a curse. ”(Mal. 4: 5-6)

The Holy Spirit desires that spiritual fathers and mothers focus on God's goals for young people, encouraging young people to respond with respect and love, so that there will be great unity and strength in the house of God.

Statistically, most people who turn to Jesus do this before they reach 25 years old. Most of the modern generation of the earth has not reached this age! I believe that the Holy Spirit is now focusing on the prophetic worship and revelation of the beauty of Jesus in order to bring back a huge number of youth to Jesus, as He did during many revivals in history.

Right before His death, Jesus prayed and prophesied in a prayer, which I call the “high priest’s prayer,” for the outpouring of His glory so that His people could walk in unity, which would significantly increase the effectiveness of the gospel (John 17: 21-23).

The movement of prayer and worship has recently been developing in beneficial cooperation, because God has entrusted various aspects of His goals and plans to various parts of His Body. A distinctive feature of the prayer movement will be unity, as we enter into the fullness of God's destiny, respecting each other and serving each other. Unity will be achieved because God's supernatural grace will be poured on the Church, allowing His people to live in love and the spirit of unity, because unity is the state in which God bestows his blessings to the greatest extent:

“How good and how pleasant it is for the brothers to live together. For there the Lord commanded the blessing and life forever. Deuteronomy 3: 8, Songs 4: ”(Psalm 132: 1,3)

Как мы можем видеть, Дух Святой призывает Церковь подниматься в единстве и участвовать в глобальном молитвенном движении последнего времени, совершая постоянное ходатайство и поклонение, проистекающие через пророческое музыкальное служение и близость с Богом. С нашей позиции силы как ходатаев мы будем трудиться вместе для исполнения Великого Поручения и собирать величайшую жатву в истории. Jesus will answer the voice of His Bride, crying out together with the Spirit to Him, that He might come and overcome His enemies, and that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God.

The greatest conflict at the end of time will unfold between two houses of prayer - two worldwide worship movements. The Holy Spirit raises the most powerful prayer and worship movement in history. To combat this movement of worship of the Spirit, the Antichrist will establish a state-sponsored worldwide false worship movement (Rev. 13: 4, 8, 12, 15). But Jesus has a plan in his heart, and His plan will be fulfilled. The worship movement of Jesus will be stronger, more creative, and more anointed than anything that Satan can create.

You may not have Anna's calling, but perhaps God is asking you to attend a prayer meeting once a week in your local church for intercession. Perhaps He wants you to worship in a prayer group in someone's house. Perhaps He wants you to sing in a worship team composed of members of the Body of Christ in your territory or to participate in street evangelism. As Mary, the mother of Jesus, told the servants at a wedding in Cana: “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2: 5). And do not hesitate.

Author: Mike Bickle (part 1, part 2)
Transfer: Anna Ivashchenko

Mike Bickle - Director of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), an evangelical missionary organization based on prayer and worship 24/7. He is also the founder of IHOP, which includes full-time ministry, music and media schools.