Posts Tagged ‘communion’

The Absolute Best Form of Communication

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

By Stephen Johns

Being a Christian you have this amazing gift of being able to interact with the Most High God! God is in our lives in every way possible directing our paths. Amazing, and what amazes me further is the fact that we get to speak with our Creator on a continual basis, day by day, hour by hour, even down to the second if we choose so. This act is called prayer.

I am asked quite frequently by Christians, “How do I pray?” I believe there are many ways to pray, but I would like to discuss one which I believe to be the most natural way to pray.

First, I want you to imagine that you are at your childhood home. You get up in the morning as you do everyday and you can smell breakfast cooking and your Mom singing in the kitchen. Your Dad is drinking coffee in the kitchen. You walk downstairs and there is evidence of them being all around you but you barely acknowledge them. Time passes through the day. You have lunch, maybe saying hi and thanking your parents for the food exactly as you did the day before. More time passes as you do your chores. Soon the afternoon passes with no interaction. It’s night time, you sit for dinner and again possibly saying thanks for the food. Night has fallen and you watch a T.V. show and go to bed. Just before you retire for the evening you tell your parents, “How thou art great and thou art wonderful parents” and as you are speaking you gently fall asleep in mid-sentence!

Sound a little strange? As abundant as your parents are in your life you barely communicate with them and when you do, you use strange words unlike your typical rhetoric through the day!? Yet this is how God is often treated by us. Avoided most of the day and spoken to with ready made cookie cutter prayers.

There are many reasons that we may not pursue God in prayer more often. One reason is that we may feel vain in thinking that we can actually speak to the “Great I Am” without using specific times like dinner, and bedtime, and using formidable words like thou and thee. However, this is not true.

One of my favorite names for God is Abba or as it could break down, “Daddy – a loving and trusting Father.” And He wants us to come to him on a continual basis. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to, “Pray without ceasing.” If it is suggested that I can pray without ceasing, then every second must be suitable for prayer. There would not be a specific time or place that would be more suitable for prayer, meaning our communication lines are wide open and our Father is ready to hear us any moment through the day.

Understand and recognize that your “Heavenly Daddy” is with you never leaving 24/7. He is there in the good and the bad, thick and thin and He wants you to tell Him about it in your own words, crying out if need be! So how do you pray? Start by just opening your mouth and your heart and in your own words – pray.

For more on how you can participate in personal growth and help improve the lives of the unfortunate and downtrodden please contact us at the web-site below.
http://www.mylifechange.org

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5 Elements of Worship

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

When worship is mentioned what come to mind? It is the music? Is it the message? Even though most of the focus regarding worship leans toward music. It is important to remember that there is more to a worship service that just the music portion. There are several ways in which we express our worship to God. In this section we will take a look at five different elements that gives the worshipper a fuller experience in the worship service. These items include the following:

  • Singing,
  • Praying,
  • Preaching,
  • Giving and
  • Communion.

Let us first start off with singing.

Singing

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Most would agree that worship incorporates the act of singing. This is a physical action that allows worshippers to express though songs what is their heart. Even though singing is using our voice, it is quite different than just talking. Perhaps the most unique thing about singing is the ability for a group of people to express their worship in unison. With singing a group of worshippers can corporately say to God their expression of praise, gratitude, and thanksgiving. Everyone can at the same time communicate to God. An offering can be made by the church as a whole. Singing can provide the worshipper with a greater ability to use emotions. Music has the most unique property to create moods and emotions though the various combinations of melody, tempo. Music is a language all its own.

Praying

Matthew 6:7-15 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Prayer is simply communication with God. This you need to know; God wants to hear from you. He wants a full relationship. Prayer allows you to talk with God directly. Some elements of prayer can be a form of worship. Prayer is the door of open communication with God. Prayer can be silent, it can be said aloud so that others can agree. It can even be sung to God. When it comes to prayer I like to use the acrostic “ACTS”. This stand for four important elements of effective prayer. These are the four elements:
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication

Adoration in Prayer

Take some time at the beginning of your prayer to offer adoration to God. Tell Him how much you love and appreciate The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is so important to affirm your love. So often Christian blast into prayer by asking for things for themselves. A better way is to start our and tell God in what ways you love Him

Confession in Prayer

Your heart needs to be in the right place when praying to God. Face it humans are sinful by nature. Confession is a form of acknowledgement of what is truthful. Most often we confess our sins. It is better to confess that to let God “find out”. If we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive us. But I also want to add another perspective to confession. Something that can add another dimension to the attitude of confession. That is to confess the greatness of God. Make confessions of faith. Confess the truth!

Thanksgiving in Prayer.

God has abundant resources available to every Christian. He desires to lavish you with all that he has to offer. The polite thing to do is to thank Him for all the great things he does in your life. Thank God for everything and every circumstance.

Supplication in Prayer

As I said earlier it is common for Christians to heap on the requests to God. God give me this, God give me that. Supplication is your request for something. Prayer needs balance. Often times it is the supplication that Christians spend a majority of time. It is okay to ask. The Bible says to ask. But this should not be the focus. You prayers should be according to God’s will. You will find that if you offer Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving prior to your supplication, you will be in the right attitude to ask for those things that are pleasing to God. Be bold in your supplication to God. He is a God of unlimited resources. Ask for things beyond yourself.

Preaching

1 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

We need to hear the word of God. And it is important to note that even the preaching is a form of worship to God. God what’s you to know him. He want’s you to know him intimately. He wants you to understand who and what he is. This is key to His relationship with you. After all how can you worship or love someone you don’t know. This is why he has preachers. Preaching is really an opportunity to dive into God’s word the bible and learn more about who he is. Learn how He operates.

In regards to worship the music is not the warm-up to the message. Both are vital to the whole worship experience. One complements the other as do all the other areas we are discussing in the section.

Giving

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Okay, with all your heart mind and soul you are to give. The Christian life is not about receiving it is about giving.

Growing up at Christmas time it was our family tradition to get gifts for everyone in the immediate family. I would get gifts for mom, dad, brother and sister. Oftentimes it was difficult to make a decision as to which gift to give. First, because I was young, my resources were very limited. So I had to eliminate any gift that were too expensive. This did leave the playing field down quite a bit. But it became obvious that my parents already had quite a few item that they already owned. In reality there was only a few things that I could give. It is like that with God. God owns the universe and everything in it. But one thing that we can give is our worship to Him. This is one thing that He really enjoys from his people.

The first thing most people think about when the subject of giving comes up is money. Yes it is true that giving money to the church is a privilege we all can partake. But, I want you to also know that it goes beyond that. It is your entire life that God wants. You have the awesome opportunity to give all your resources to God. This includes your time, your body, your mind. When you give to God all the resources available to you, it is at that time a true sacrifice of praise and worship.

Communion

Matthew 26:26-29 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Communion is the greatest privilege a Christian can experience. This is a time for true intimate relationship with Jesus. This is a time of oneness. It is time for the worshipper to bond with their Savior. It identifies the believer with Christ. Communion allows us to focus on the greatest gift ever given to mankind. It is a time to remember that Jesus death on the cross is the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Bringing it all together

As you can see there are many facets to the worship experience. Each is as important as the other. The key for rich and fulfilling worship is balance. As you balance these five elements in your worship service, you provide more opportunities for the worshiper.

Bible Study: Deep Calls Unto Deep

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

by Mike and Denise Hartmann-Echterling and Hart To Heart Ministries

Psalm 42:1-2 says, “As the hart [male red deer] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (KJV)

My mind was flooded with this scripture when I saw a deer drinking from a river in Montana, where Denise and I were ministering in a conference. I was reminded how few saints ever really experience this kind of intimacy and closeness with God. For too many, the price is too high to pay in order to obtain it. It is obtainable. Prayer is just one of the many ways to “draw near” to experience the glorious presence of God.

Close communion with God is found only in the depths of your heart. You can step into a deeper awareness of God’s presence. To do this, you must have a desire, passion, hunger, and thirst that will run like a deer for the water brook. You must ask, seek, and knock until you are at the River of Life.

In Psalm 63:1-2 David wrote, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (KVJ)

As you pray you can open the depth of your heart to a place in God few obtain, you will find the deep places of God’s presence. It is the place you will find the anointing, power, authority, glory presence, and deep communion with God that you so long for. It is where “deep calleth unto deep”. It is a place that is a sanctuary, a place of hope, a place of love, a place of rest, a place of power. Once you labored to enter into the rest of “deep calleth unto deep” (Psalm 42:7) you can drink deeply from the River of Life. You can feast on the Living Bread. You will experience the victory that you long for. You will be the overcomer you always dreamed of being. You will do the “mighty exploits for God” once you step into that deep place in your spirit.

Mike and Denise Hartmann-Echterling with passion of holy fire preach the full glories found in the salvation bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. You can read more about them at: http://www.h2hm.org

About the Author

Mike and Denise Hartmann-Echterling founders of Hart To Heart Ministries preach in seminars, conferences and churches around the world. Denise sings, teaches and with a heart of love allows the power of God to touch the hearts and lives of people. Mike has a passion to see people walk in the authority that has been given to them through the cross of Christ. You can visit their web site at: http://www.h2hm.org