7. PRAISE, WORSHIP, AND PRAYER:
Roots of the Christian Life
7.1. What is Yahweh worthy to receive? (2 Sam.22:4)
7.2. For what has Yahweh, who has called us to be His people, formed us? (Isa.43:21)
7.3. How often should we praise Yahweh? (Psalm 34:1-3)
7.4. Who should praise Yahweh? (Psalm 150:6)
7.5. How can we honour Yahweh? (Psalm 50:23)
7.6. What are three ways to praise Yahweh? (Psalm 47:1; 98:4)
7.7. What types of instruments were used in praising Yahweh anciently? (Psalm 150:3-5)
Many types of instruments are used by Christian Churches and Messianic Assemblies nowadays, from electric guitars to cathedral-sized organs. There are many Church musical traditions. In choosing instruments of worship and praise the New Covenant Apostolate has provided the following guidelines:
(1) Instruments and the music played on them ought to be of such a nature as to be readily identified with divine worship and not with the world's music;
(2) There should be variety, from quiet, meditational music where worship can be still and peaceful, to energetic praise music that calls for the worship of Yahweh with mind, heart, body and soul.
(3) Music should not be for the worshippers' entertainment but for the glory of Yahweh;
(4) Music should stimulate the spirit and not the flesh.
Accordingly certain musical standards have been established by the Apostolate who recommend the organ (which has always been asssociated with divine worship and which is regarded as the king of instruments) and traditional orchestral instruments, allowing for considerably flexibility from culture to culture. The use of electric guitars, drums and rhythmic beats is strongly discouraged as this tends to excite the carnal senses and dull spiritual sensibilities. Thus rock music is not employed by the New Covenant and more modern music (carefully selected to exclude 'New Style' Christian music) is restricted to praise meetings. More traditional instrumental praise music is reserved for worship services. Choral music without instruments is also encouraged. The emphasis is strongly placed on spiritual beauty, theological accuracy, and non-repetitiveness.
7.8. In what two other ways can we praise Yahweh? (Psalm 149:1-3)
7.9. What is to be found in the mouth of the godly ones? (Psalm 149:6)
7.10. What power is there in praise when it is coupled with the two-edged sword, which is the Word of Yahweh? (Psalm 149:8-9)
7.11. When Jehoshaphat (Yehoshafat) went out to battle, he sent forth the praisers before the armies of Israel. What happened? (2 Chron.20:17-23)
7.12. What actually happens when we begin to praise Yahweh? (Psalm 22:3)
7.13. In the last days what is Yahweh going to restore? (Acts 15:16-18)
7.14. Where is the tabernacle of Yahweh to be? (Rev.21:3)
Yahweh is raising up in these latter days a people whom He can taberbacle so that all mankind might seek Him. We are all being put together as a dwelling of Yahweh in the Ruach (Spirit) on various levels of light. The New Covenant is one of these levels.
7.15. What was the one thing that characterised the "tabernacle of David"? (1 Chron.15:16,22,24; 16:4-6,37-42)
Yahweh Himself was enthroned upon these praises. Again in these latter days, Yahweh is raising up the "fallen tabernacle of David" in the Ruach (Spirit). This tabernacle is noticed because of the praise, thanksgiving, music and songs that go forth in the worship of Yahweh. It is in this tabernacle that His Ruach (Spirit) will dwell.
16. What kind of people is Yahweh seeking? (John 4:23-24)
7.17. How should we worship the Yahweh? (Psalm 2:11)
7.18. What is one way to show this reverence? (Psalm 5:7)
7.19. When the king had ordered the Levites to praise and worship Yahweh, how did they do it? (2 Chron.29:30)
7.20. In what should we worship Yahweh? (1 Chron.16:29)
This passage is referring to the quality of "holiness". We are to worship the Lord in the "beauty of holiness", as separated out ones, and therefore clearly distinguishable from the world.
7.21. What three things did Yah'shua (Jesus) tell His disciples about prayer? (John 16:24)
7.22. What did Yah'shua (Jesus) tell us not to do when we pray? (Matt.6:7)
7.23. Why do they use meaningless repetitions? (Matt.6:7)
Repetitive prayer is characteristic of pagan religions. The repetitive use of certain words is used by these religions to induce hypnotic-like states in order to facilitate demon possession. A Christian should talk to Yahweh as he would to a deeply respected friend.
How do you personally react when people repeat the same things over and over again? Do you like to hear your name used in almost every phrase and sentence? Most people find it disrespectful, irritating and condescending.
We are not to use the Name of Eloah (Yahweh) or of Yah'shua (Jesus) like a mantra but show respect by not repeating Their Names too often. Repeating the Names of Deity over and over again obtains neither His attention nor blessings for us. The use of words in prayer is not a magic formula or secret code to gain access to El Elyon (the Most High); what matters is heart-to-heart communion, and if words can be cut down or (in private prayer) cut out altogether, so much the better.
The same keys should be observed when praying in tongues. Tongue-speaking should not be meaningless, repetitive gibberish, but holy prayer or prophecy in a known foreign language with interpretation for the edification of the Body (see Series No.5, The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) -- the Gift of Yahweh).
7.24. To Whom did Yah'shua (Jesus) teach us to pray -- to Yahweh-God the Father, to Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) the Son, or to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Matt.6:9)
All prayer should be opened by addressing Yahweh-Elohim (LORD God, KJV), the Father, and concluded in the Name of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the Son. To pray to Christ (or the Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit) is to dishonour the Father who is the head of the Elohim (Godhead).
7.25. What does your Father know? (Matt.6:8)
7.26. When we stand praying, what must we do if we expect to receive forgiveness from Yahweh? (Mark 11:25)
7.27. When we pray and ask for something, what should we believe? (Mark 11:24)
7.28. As a result, what will happen?
7.29. What are two reasons that a person does not receive the things he wants from Yahweh? (James 4:2-3)
7.30. What type of person does Yahweh hear? (John 9:31)
7.31. When the answer to a prayer seems to be slow in coming, what does Yah'shua (Jesus) tell us that we ought to do? (Luke 18:2-5)
7.32. Yah'shua (Jesus) gave a parable about a widow and an unrighteous judge. What happened? (Luke 18:2-5)
7.33. What did Yah'shua (Jesus) say about Yahweh in comparison to this unrighteous judge? (Luke 18:6-8)
7.34. Therefore, what should we have? (Luke 18:8)
There are some Christians who teach that it is insulting to God, as well as demonstrating a lack of faith, to ask Him for something more than once. Yah'shua's (Jesus') teachings contradict this. We are to keep on asking, not because Yahweh is deaf or enjoys watching us suffer, but to teach us patience, long-suffering, single-mindedness, resolution, and faith.
If after making a request several times without a satisfactory outcome and we become impatient or angry, this is itself a revelation of our carnal weakness and especially of our lack of love for, and trust in, Yahweh.
Yahweh's sons and daughters are often put in situations of adversary in order to refine their characters into the image of Christ as well as to be a living testimony of the power of Yahweh when the odds seem hopeless.
7.35. What promise does Yah'shua (Jesus) give us? (Matt.7:7-8)
7.36. What will the Father give? (Matt.7:11)
7.37. In what does our heavenly Father Yahweh delight? (Prov.15:8)
7.38. What does Yahweh hate? (Prov.15:8)
7.39. What privilege do those who abide in Yah'shua (Jesus) and allow His words to dwell in them have? (John 15:7)
Notice that Yahweh's promise to honour our prayers is conditional upon our asking in righteousness for that which will bring glory to His Name. We have not been promised the desires of our carnal natures but only that which will bring us, and others, to salvation and joy. As a general rule, Yahweh grants that which is good for us, not that which will harm us. He will sometimes, however, grant us the desires of our hearts when they are not in harmony with His will when we become partially or totally closed to His desires, but then only to bring us to eventual repentance and conformity to His will. A good example of this is in the matter of Israel choosing to have a king rather than continuing with the Elohim-given system of judges -- read the story of the anointing of Saul in 1 Samuel 8.
We should therefore be very careful in automatically assuming that the apparent answer to our prayers is a response to the divine will. Yahweh does not force His children to go where they do not want to go but patiently awaits their obedience. If we choose the way of spiritual destruction He will not hinder us though He will patiently try to lead us to self-awareness and repentance in order that we might change direction in our lives.
7.40. What four things other than what we have discussed so far can hinder our prayers? (Psalm 66:18; James 1:6-7; 1 Peter 3:7; 4:7)
7.41. What should a Christian do instead of worrying? (Phil.4:6)
7.42. How should we begin each day? (Psalm 5:3)
7.43. How many times of day we should ideally set aside to give all our attention to Yahweh in prayer? (Daniel 6:10)
Notice that Daniel would face Jerusalem where the temple was. Though the direction we face in is not important it is certainly helpful to have a point of focus. Many New Covenant Christians make it a practice to praying towards such a structure to assist them in focusing on holy things.
Daniel would also kneel, and whilst it is not important whether one prays kneeling, standing, sitting, or lying down, kneeling is regarded universally as a sign of contrition and humility and is encouraged in the New Covenant. As in all ritual behaviour, though, it is what takes place in the heart that is important, not the ritual itself which is but an aid to spirituality. Obviously those who are physically incapacitated should pray in whatever way is best for them.
We are always to be in a spiritual state of prayer, which means that Yahweh and His will should always be in our conscience. Thus we can "pray" whilst we are doing other things. Nevertheless time exclusively set aside for prayer, in the fashion employed by Daniel, is vitally important and receives the approbation and blessings of heaven. Read the whole of Daniel 6 to gain an insight of the importance of being true to a discipline of prayer. Notice the excellent example Daniel set and how much good came as the result of the way He honoured Yahweh in prayer.
7.44. What gives us the privilege of entering the holy presence of Yahweh? (Heb.10:19)
7.45. What does the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) help us do in regard to our prayers? (Rom.8:26-27)
7.46. When we are trying to overcome satannic forces, what must we sometimes join with prayer? (Mark 9:29)
7.47. What does Yah'shua (Jesus) promise will happen if two or more agree on anything for which they are praying? (Matt.18:19)
There is more likely to be unity in discerning Yahweh's will when two or more are working at a problem together in love and humility. "Two heads are better than one," the old expression goes. Praying in groups is both powerful and effective and whilst solitary prayer is an essential part of the Christian life, group prayer should never be neglected.
7.48. Whose prayers are the most powerful and effective? (Prov.15:29; James 5:16)
7.49. Whom should we pray for especially? (1 Tim.2:2)
7.50. Why should we pray for these people? (1 Tim.2:2)
7.51. How should we pray, and what should we avoid? (1 Tim.2:8)
7.52. How often should we pray? (Eph.6:18; 1 Thess.5:17)
7.53. What are the two essential ingredients for disciples to pray continually? (1 Thess.5:16,18)
Write down and memorise the following scripture: Phil. 4:6-7
Recommended Resourse Materials
1. Jeff Godwin, The Devil's Disciples: The Truth About Rock (Chick Publications, Chino, CA, USA. 1985. ISBN 0-937958-23-9) - Protestant perspective.
2. Ed. Samuele Bacchiocchi, The Christian and Rock Music: A Study on Biblical Perspectives (Biblical Perspectives, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA. 2000. www.biblicalperspectives.com) - Seventh-Day Adventist perspective.
3. Alan Morrison, Exposing the New Style of Worship & The Decline of Western Classical Music (New Covenant Press, Arvika, Sweden. 1999)
4. Christopher C. Warren, The Truth About Rock Music with the Testimony of a Former Satanist (New Covenant Press, Arvika, Sweden. 1999)
5. The NCCG.ORG Website at www.nccg.org/music.html
6. Christopher C. Warren, The Five Keys to Effective Prayer (New Covenant Christian Witness 1:3-22, August 1992, New Covenant Press, Oslo, Norway)
7. Oswald Chambers, Prayer: A Holy Occupation (Discovery House Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan USA. 1992. ISBN 0-929239-59-8) - Baptist perspective.
Next Bible Study in the Series | Parallel Sermon to this Study