Prayer To Develop An Attitude Of Praise To God
The Prayer of Praise
I used to hurry into the church twenty minutes late on Sunday morning. By the time I found a seat and settled into it, the worship and praise time was over and the pastor was preaching. I wasn’t concerned about this because I was there for the teaching. Yet my mind wandered everywhere and didn’t settle into the message until the sermon was half over.
On the days I arrived in plenty of time to get a seat before the service started and was a full participant through the entire worship time, I found I was open to receive the message as if God were speaking directly to me.
My heart was made soft and receptive to what the Holy Spirit wanted to teach me because of the twenty or thirty minutes I had spent praising God. Negative attitudes I had come in with were melted away and replaced with ones more in alignment with what God desired.
I was made ready and open to receive from God.
Worship invites God’s presence, and that’s where deliverance happens. Two men in prison were singing praises to God when suddenly the prison doors flew open and their chains fell off (Acts 16:26).
In the spirit realm when we praise the Lord, the prison doors of our lives are opened, our bonds are broken, and we are set free. Praising God opens you to experience His love, and it will liberate you.
The Prayer of Praise Brings Healing and Transformation
The more time we spend praising the Lord, the more we will see ourselves and our circumstances grow in wholeness.
That’s because praise softens our hearts and makes them pliable. It also covers us protectively. The more the pliability and covering are maintained, the more quickly our hearts can be molded and healed.
Praise and worship of God are always acts of will. We have to will to praise God even when we don’t feel it. Sometimes our problems or the burdens we carry choke out our good intentions, so we have to make the effort to establish praise as a way of life. And it becomes a way of life when we make it our first reaction to what we face and not a last resort.Now is the time to lift up a prayer of praise to God for everything in your life. Thank Him for His Word, His faithfulness, His love, His grace, His healing. Thank Him for what He has done for you personally.
Keep in mind that whatever you thank the Lord for — peace, financial blessing, health, a new job, an end to depression — will start the process of its being released to you at that time.
In the Old Testament, the people who carried the Ark of the Covenant stopped every six steps to worship. We also have to remind ourselves not to go very far without stopping to praise and worship. For emotional healing and restoration, we have to be six-step persons and continually invite the presence of the Lord to rule in our situations.
The Prayer of Praise Aligns Us with God’s Purposes
Without praise we experience an eroding that leads to bondage and death. The Bible says,
Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. — Romans 1:21
With praise, you and your circumstances can be changed, because it gives God entrance into every area of your life and allows Him to be enthroned there.
So any time you struggle with negative emotions — such as anger, unforgiveness, fear, hurt, oppression, depression, self-hatred, or worthlessness — thank God that He is bigger than all that. Thank Him that His plans and purposes for you are good.
Thank Him that in any weak area of your life, He will be strong. Thank Him that He came to restore you. Remember the names of the Lord, and use them in your prayer. “I praise You, Lord, because You are my Deliverer and Redeemer.
” “Thank You, God, that You are my Healer and Provider.”
Once you align yourself with God’s purposes through praise, you can claim things that you can’t see yet in your life as though they were there.
“Lord, I have absolutely no way to make my healing come about, but You are all- powerful and can make it happen. I thank You and praise You for Your healing power in my life.
” Doing this is your greatest weapon against the feelings of inadequacy, purposelessness, and futility that can undermine all God has made you to be.
Remember: Praise lifts us powerfully into God’s presence and aligns us with His purposes.
The Prayer of Praise Defeats Criticism
There is another reason why the prayer of praise and thanksgiving is so vital to our walk with God. It crowds out criticism, which I discovered many years ago not only limits what God can do in my life but invites judgment back upon myself.
Let me explain. Those of us who have been abused as children often grow up to be judgmental and critical. Being torn down when we were young makes tearing someone else down to build ourselves up very appealing. We become unmerciful because we were not shown mercy.
Criticizing others quickly becomes a bad habit that can backfire. Constantly criticizing, even only in the mind, invites a critical spirit. When you have a spirit of criticism, your every thought and word is colored by it. You eventually become cynical and then completely unable to experience joy.You can be reading the Word, praying, and obeying and still not have peace and joy in your life because you are critical. Being critical of circumstances or conditions can be as detrimental as criticizing people, because it turns you into a grumbler and complainer — the type of person people generally to avoid.
It’s difficult to find the love and support you need when no one wants to be around you.
Mercy triumphs over judgment. — James 2:13
Criticism crowds love our hearts.
Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. — 1 Corinthians 13:2
Without love in our hearts we cannot grow emotionally, and we will always be at a standstill in our healing and development. But we can overcome a critical attitude by being constantly filled with the love of the Lord through prayerful praise and thanksgiving toward Him.
The Prayer of Praise Defeats Depression
The prayer of praise and thanksgiving can also lift you hopeless feelings of depression. One of the healthiest steps to take is to focus outwardly on God through praise.
Stop everything you’re doing and say, “Lord, I praise You. I worship You. I give thanks to You. I glorify You. I love You.
” Thanking Him for everything you can think of is the best way to stop the stream of self-abuse that goes through your head.
It says in God’s Word that “anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25). The good word that will truly make your heart glad comes from the Lord through His Word.
When you pray the prayer of praise and thanksgiving, pray God’s Word. Find verses of Scripture that speak praise and say them out loud.
When you find a promise or word from God that speaks to your situation, continually speak it aloud with thanksgiving; eventually your spirit and soul will respond to the hope and truth of God’s Word.
The Prayer of Praise Defeats Fear
Before I received Jesus, fear was the controlling factor of my life: fear of failure, of bodily harm, of being emotionally hurt, of getting old, of being a nobody.
An aching, paralyzing, all-engulfing spirit of fear had overtaken me, bringing with it companion spirits of suicide, despair, anxiety, and hopelessness. As I fought to keep from drowning in my fears, I ran strength.
Gradually my fear of life overrode my fear of death, and suicide seemed as if it would be a pleasant relief.I have heard it said that F-E-A-R stands for: False Evidence Appearing Real
The devil presents false evidence and makes it seem real. We can choose to listen to his falsehoods or believe God. The prayer of praise is your greatest weapon against fear, so use it with great force. Clap your hands, sing, and speak praises to God. Thank Him for His great love. The more you do, the more you’ll open up to receive it. God’s love and fear cannot reside in the same heart!
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. — 1 John 4:18
No matter what has happened to you in the past or what’s happening in the world around you, God promises to protect you as you walk with Him now. In fact, He is committed to protecting you all the time. We don’t understand how much evil the Lord protects us from every day, but I’m sure it’s far more than we imagine.
He is more powerful than any adversary we face, and He promises that no matter what the enemy brings into our lives, we will triumph in it.
The only fear you are to have is the fear of God, a respect for God’s authority and power.
Fearing God means fearing what life without Him would be and thanking Him continually that, because of His love, you’ll never have to experience it.
Excerpted with permission from Seven Prayers That Will Change Your Life Forever by Stormie Omartian, copyright Stormie Omartian.
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Show of hands for those of us who occasionally walk into the worship service late? *raises hand* Me, too.
I love that Stormie shared with us the power of our praise because we don’t want to miss out on the benefits of tuning our hearts into God to hear His Word, focus on His goodness, be healed and transformed, be aligned with His purposes for our lives, crush criticism, depression, and fear! Right? Let’s get in the praise zone, my friends! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about praise! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full
7 Ways to Worship God in Spirit and in Truth
“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way.” –John 4:23
As believers, we’re called to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23).
But you may wonder, “How can I worship God daily? How can I worship God at home? How can I worship God wherever I am?” The good news is, you can—and worship is a powerful spiritual exercise in any believer’s life.
It played a vital role in the Israelites’ winning their first battle after entering the Promise Land (Joshua 6). It was instrumental in Paul and Silas’ release from prison (Acts 16:24-26).
It reflected the thanksgiving and heartfelt praise of God’s people throughout all 150 psalms, repeatedly allowing them to express their nagging fears, their miraculous feats and their enduring faith in the Him. These examples and more show just what can happen when God’s people worship Him “in spirit and in truth.”
What Does Worshiping ‘in Truth’ Mean?
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8, NKJV).
The first step in understanding how to worship is recognizing whom to worship. We worship the Father in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).
When we worship in truth, we don’t worship empty philosophies that come from the world’s way of thinking (Colossians 2:8). Instead, we focus on the message and the truth of Jesus Christ. “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.
Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts” (Colossians 3:16).
Man’s way of thinking is not God’s way of thinking (Isaiah 55:8). In order to worship in truth, we must know the truth, which is found in the Bible.We must continually renew our minds to the Word of God by spending time studying every day (Romans 12:2).
When our minds are renewed to what He says is truth (and not the world), we will be able to come to Him and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Why Preparing for Worship Is Important
“Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you” (1 Corinthians 14:26).
The beauty of worship occurs in community with other -minded believers. There is a depth and strength that comes when believers join together in worship, much the Israelites did around Jericho and Paul and Silas did in prison. In 1 Corinthians 14:26, Paul explains aspects of orderly worship.
While orderly worship is not the immediate topic here, this scripture shows the importance of preparing for worship. The one singing needs to select the song, practice and prepare his or her heart before the service begins.
wise, the one teaching needs to prepare to receive and deliver the message before the service.
The responsibility to prepare for worship doesn’t just fall to the worship team and the pastor.
We should all come to the house of worship prepared—whether you are singing, teaching, preaching, speaking, prophesying, serving or receiving.
Sunday worship is not a time to be entertained and expecting to be served, but it’s a time when God’s children gather to give Him honor and praise and to be strengthened.
So, how do you prepare for worship on Sunday? You prepare by getting your heart ready. Use the night before or early morning before the service to seek the Lord by practicing private worship, reading the Bible and praying.Fix your thoughts on the truth of Jesus and all He has done for you. Pray for the service and ask the Lord to help you receive from Him.
You may even want to set aside a special time in your schedule to prepare for weekly worship.
For some, expressing themselves in worship can be uncomfortable, especially if they are new Christians. You go to some churches, and the congregation never stands up.
They don’t sing, but they just sit and listen to the worship music. Others may sing but they don’t play instruments.
Still others will be waving their hands, shouting and running around as the band plays every kind of instrument. Which way to worship is correct?
Well, the Bible outlines seven different types of worship, and they are all appropriate, with each having its place. Let’s examine them:
“He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them…. Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him, may the people always pray for him and bless him all day long.” –Psalm 72:12-15
Barak means to bow down to, or kneel before, the Lord. It communicates that the Lord holds a place of importance and helps us remember just how great He is. Barak is not done a begging attitude but rather an expectant attitude, because the Lord is more than willing and able to move on our behalf.
“David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel.” –1 Chronicles 16:4
Halal appears more than 110 times in the Old Testament. It translates as to shine, boast, rave about, celebrate or even to be clamorously foolish. Can you imagine a more wondrous noise raving about about all the Lord is and all He has done?
“Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!” –Psalm 47:1Shabach means to shout loudly or command. Of course, it isn’t simply about being loud. Its focus is to worship the Lord with one’s whole being.
“But you are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].” –Psalm 22:3, AMPC
Tehillah means to sing unrehearsed, unplanned praises to the Lord. It can include adding words to an existing song or even singing in the spirit to the Lord.
“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” –Psalm 50:23
Towdah is a type of worship that includes extending your hands or raising them in thanksgiving for something that has been done or will be done.
“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!’”
–2 Chronicles 20:21
Yadah means to extend your hands vigorously as in complete surrender.
“Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp! Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes! Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!” –Psalm 150:3-6
Zamar means to touch the strings. It involves rejoicing and making music to the Lord.
Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about the seven ways to worship in spirit and in truth.
How can you incorporate them into your personal and corporate worship? Remember, praising God is to be on our lips, or spoken (Isaiah 57:19), and we are to do it continually as a sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15).
God promises that when we praise and worship Him, He inhabits those praises (Psalm 22:3), and it gives us strength to defeat our enemy (Psalm 8:2).
For an even deeper study into how you can worship God in spirit and in truth, check out the 7 Types of Worship Bible Study. Enjoy a deeper experience as you discover how to worship God daily, at home and everywhere you go, in spirit and in truth!
© 1997 – 2019 Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. Aka Kenneth Copeland Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
5 Simple Ways to Develop an
Our attitude is defined by the way we think and feel about life. It all begins with the way we see the world—which triggers a reaction, response, or behavior. Developing an “attitude of gratitude,” or seeing the world in such a way that spawns a thankful heart, produces many positive results.
Studies in what has become known as the “science of gratitude,” show that being grateful helps us feel more alive, promotes better sleep, fortifies our immune system, and even influences our looks. In short, grateful people are friendlier, healthier, happier, and even more attractive.
If you’re having trouble developing this habit in your life, then here are five suggestions to help you master an attitude of gratitude:
Develop the habit of “looking up.”
We live in a world where we look downward while we text on phones, check our email, view iPads, or even when we walk. Much of the news is centered on looking at the downside of life and what's wrong on this planet. How much better would life be if we remember from time to time to look up, look outward, and look heavenward?
Years ago—before email, text, and connections—we moved our young family from Arizona to Michigan. My ninth-grader had to leave a lot of her friends, which created quite a bit of stress. When she came home each day from school, she would look down at the table or the desk for snail mail from her friends. I decided this might make a good teaching moment for her.
Since my wife and I were the ones who normally picked up the mail, we placed the letters and cards in high places in our home—a hanging light fixture, a high fireplace mantel, the top of a picture frame on the wall.This helped teach our daughter to “look up”—that's where we find happy things. Looking heavenward can bring happiness. Heavenly Father wants us to notice His blessings by looking to Him.
At our house, “looking up” stuck! It's helped us be more thankful.
Start a gratitude journal or a tender mercy board in your home.
Anything that helps us to put our busy lives on pause—long and often enough to count and chronicle our blessings—will go a long way in developing an attitude of gratitude. On a daily basis, find a way to pause and take in these blessings.
Ask yourself: Where did I see God’s hand today? What happened for which I am thankful? How were even the tough moments of the day a blessing in disguise?
Writing and remembering blessings every day will make you more aware of His hand in your life. Maybe even try switching up your individual or family prayers, at least for a while. The morning prayer could be focused on asking for blessings that you or the family needs and the evening prayer could be centered on giving thanks.
Have you ever tried to offer a prayer of 100% gratitude? Not asking for anything? It surely makes you think about your long list of blessings, which can often seem overwhelming.
Make a list of all the people you are grateful for.
Take some time and make a list of all the people in your life that have changed your life for the better. As you make the list, write a few notes by their name stating why they are special to you and what they did that qualifies them to be on your list.
Go back as far as you can remember—teachers, friends, advisors, grandparents, parents, siblings, and anyone who touched your life for good. Make it an open list that can grow as you remember more experiences or meet new people.
This practice can be a great energizer to your life. God blesses us with spiritual and literal brothers and sisters who make a difference in our lives. Remembering them develops thankful threads in our hearts and minds.
Make a list of all the enriching experiences in your life.
Let your mind wander from your earliest recollections to what happened in recent days. What experiences, both hard and joyful, have blessed your life? Make a list and add a description of what the experience taught you and how you've become a better person for having lived it.
Be sure to include the adversities that made you stronger. Remember those special experiences which magnified your testimony or lifted your self-esteem. These experiences enlighten our view and generate gratitude in our lives.
Make a list of people you need to forgive.
Every major religion teaches about the renewing power of forgiving and letting go. The wellspring of gratitude is sometimes dammed in our minds when we cling to unkind feelings for others.
Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? It could even be something so simple as a sarcastic comment or unintentional slip of someone’s tongue.
Let go of those unkind feelings and see what happens to your heart. We become more grateful for those around us when we do as the Savior does. He forgives us and expects us to do the same.
Love for life and thankfulness expands in our hearts as we forgive and let go.Perhaps one of the most important people on your list is “you.” Forgive yourself as you forgive others, and allow the Lord to break the dam and let gratitude flow to your heart.
If you need more help developing a grateful heart, check out more ideas in David A. Christensen's book, A Thankful Heart: 31 Teachings to Recognize Blessings in Your Life.
Lead image from iStock
20 Good Christian Quotes About Attitude
Perhaps you have heard it said: “Attitude is everything”. I must agree! I think being a parent has taught me this concept more than anything. Even being a parent of adult children — they notice your attitude so much more than the little children do.
However, the little children tend to emulate your attitude. Don’t you find this to be true? Attitude is so important that people are often quoted for what they say about attitude. Here are some good Christian quotes about attitude.
I hope you can prayerfully consider how keeping your attitude in check positively affects everyone around you.
“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Attitude & Choice
Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. ~ Joel Osteen
We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice. ~ John C. Maxwell
If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting “Who made thee to differ? and what hast thou that thou hast not received?” then I know nothing of Calvary love. ~ Amy Carmichael
You say, “Well, I am not going to be anyone’s ‘yes man.’ If I see something wrong in a person, I’m going to warn others about it.” Fine. But beware that what you are calling ” courage to speak out” is not more truly a deception masking a rebellious, dishonouring attitude. ~ Francis Franqipane
A test of a Christian’s character is what he does after he comes to the blockade in the road and what his attitude is after everything has left him except Jesus. ~ Lester Roloff
Attitude, Prayer & Praise
Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude – an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. ~ A.W. Pink
Prayer is not only asking, it is an attitude of heart that produces an atmosphere in which asking is perfectly natural, and Jesus says, “every one that asketh receiveth.” ~Oswald Chambers
It is not the body’s posture, but the heart’s attitude that counts when we pray. ~Billy GrahamEvery human activity, except sin, can be done for God’s pleasure, if you do it with an attitude of praise. ~ Rick Warren
Persistence in prayer for someone whom we don’t , however much it goes against the grain to begin with, brings about a remarkable change in attitude. ~ F.F. Bruce
Consider how your attitude contributes to someone else’s day.
About Attitude – Chuck Swindoll
The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.
When you have vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude is optimistic rather than pessimistic.
Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.
About Attitude – Watchman Nee
When a believer has crossed into the domain of the spiritual he daily ought to maintain a combat attitude in his spirit, praying therewith for the overthrow of all the works of Satan done through the evil powers.
The right attitude is this: that I have my own will, yet I will the will of God.
Most soulish believers assume an attitude of self-righteousness, though often it is scarcely detectable. They hold tenaciously to their minute opinions we ought to lay aside the small differences and pursue the common objective.The attitude of saints toward their possessions most assuredly signifies whether they continue to preserve their self life or whether they have consigned it to death.
Often Satan injects pride into the believer’s spirit, evoking in him an attitude of self-importance and of self-conceit. He causes him to esteem himself a very outstanding person, one who is indispensable in God’s work. Such a spirit constitutes one of the major reasons for the fall of believers.
Attitude is everything. It is a choice and it affects your prayer and praise to the Lord. Consider how your attitude contributes to someone else’s day. The truth is that your attitude directly affects whether or not you are a blessing or a curse.
Read more about attitude here: Bible Verses About Attitude
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6 Benefits of Prophetic Praise and Worship
Do you want to hear God’s purposes for your life and ministry, or receive a fresh infilling of His Spirit?
Do you desire to encounter God and know Him more?
Prophetic worship is one way that you can have a face-to-face meeting with God—or provide a means for others to encounter Him. 
Here are 6 benefits of prophetic worship, followed with some ways that you can put this into practice in your personal life with God.
1. It Facilitates God Encounters
God created us for face-to-face relationship with Him.
Our worship honours God and brings Him pleasure. However, if we view worship as being solely a one-way giving of our love and adoration to Jesus, we have not attained the highest purpose of worship.
God’s desire has always been to commune with His people.
- The Bible shows us that God’s heart for worship is not only to bring Him glory; it is also about encounter
When we encounter God in a time of prophetic worship, we are transformed and brought closer to Him.
We leave that place knowing that God has touched our lives personally and that we will never be the same again.
2. It Enables us to Receive an Impartation from God
When we are yielded to Jesus in an attitude of love and worship, we are more receptive and open to Him than at any other time.
‘Impartation’ means a release of God’s power into our lives. This can be an infilling of His Holy Spirit, or a specific attribute of His nature; for example, He may desire to infuse us with peace, strength or faith.
We can have an expectation that as God leads us in praise and worship, we and others will be healed and set free from oppression. Psalm 107:20 says, ‘He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.’
The young David was employed by Saul to play the lyre. As David played, the anointing of God on his music caused the demonic oppression to lift from Saul. (1 Sam 16:14-23)
3. It Breaks open the Atmosphere for God to Move
We know that an open Heaven is our inheritance. However, there are times when we have to contend for it, whether in our personal lives or in the Church.
This is where prophetic praise is especially helpful.
Praise is prophetic when it is directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s ‘now’ purpose for our lives or a particular meeting.
Prophetic praise is the Spirit-led proclamation of who God is, of His attributes, of what He has done and what He will accomplish.
A benefit of prophetic praise is that it penetrates the atmosphere and pushes back oppression, apathy, fear or any other effects of spiritual warfare. (See 2 Chron 20, Psalm 149:5,9)
4. It Prepares Our Hearts for God’s Word
Prophetic worship is, at its foundational level, Spirit-directed and Spirit-empowered worship. (John 4:23-24)
During a time of prophetic worship, the Holy Spirit has begun to speak to us and our hearts are opened towards God.
When the preaching or personal study of God’s Word accompanies or follows prophetic worship, the two merge together and a continuum of inspiration from the Holy Spirit takes place.
5. We can Receive a Prophetic Message from God
In prophetic worship, God uses a song, instrumentation or other prophetic communication to speak His purpose into our lives—and that word has creative ability. Your Father may have a specific word of encouragement or instruction for you to receive.
Whether personally, or corporately in a meeting, prophetic worship provides both the expectation and the opportunity for God to speak to us. (1 Cor 14:26)
6. It is Powerful When Specific Breakthrough is Needed
Prophetic praise celebrates the fulfilment of God’s promises before they are manifested in the natural realm. Prophetic praise is one vehicle that God uses to release His power and bring about His purposes in our lives and in the Church.
We see examples of the power of prophetic praise in the Bible.
King Jehoshaphat sent singers and musicians out ahead of his army to celebrate the victory God had promised through His prophet. The battle was won as God routed the armies in front of the praisers. (2 Chron 20)
A song of prophetic praise was also significant to releasing God’s provision (Num 21:17-18), transforming barrenness into fruitfulness (Isaiah 54:1-3) and overcoming obstacles and persecution. (Acts 16)
Last week I looked at prophetic worship in the Church setting. However we can also use prophetic worship in our personal life with God.
Note that any prophetic revelation (beyond general encouragement) received during personal times of worship need to be weighed up and followed through with leadership.
1. ‘Soaking’ worship means positioning ourselves before God in a dual attitude of worship and of receiving or hearing from Him. As we yield to His Spirit, He fills us, empowers us and speaks to us.
Discover the unique way of connecting with God that suits you—for example, finding a quiet place accompanied by a worship CD, or walking outdoors in an attitude of worship and receiving. The key is to take time and to be intentional.
2. Develop a playlist of songs that are God’s ‘now’ encouragement for you personally, and listen to them regularly.
3. If you are a musician, take time with your instrument to worship God without a practice agenda. As you do, wait on Him for fresh inspiration, believe He is filling you with His Spirit, and allow Him to fill your heart and mind with the Father’s personal message to you and others.
4. When attending a worship gathering with others, enter in wholeheartedly and with the expectation that you will personally meet with God and receive All He has for you.
Notes: See my previous post, ‘A Vision for Prophetic Worship in Church Life.’  See ‘The Power of Prophetic Accountability.’
How Your Prophetic Song Can Release the Power of God
4 Benefits of Soaking Worship
Prophetic Worship: Develop Your Ministry of Encounter
In ‘Prophetic Worship: Develop Your Ministry of Encounter’ you will learn about prophetic praise for breakthrough, how prophetic flow operates in the worship environment, prophetic art and media, keys to releasing the power of God in worship and more!
Each chapter includes questions for personal reflection, group discussion as well as exercises for worship team activation. Available in PDF and ePub
To view ‘Prophetic Worship: Develop Your Ministry of Encounter’, click here
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© 2016 Helen Calder
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries Family
Praying With the Right Attitude
by Jayaram V
The Mystical life is the life of union with God, and it is based essentially on Prayer and Contemplation. But prayer and contemplation, though simple in themselves, are yet fraught with difficulties and dangers unless we be wisely guided. Rev. Hugh Pope.
All these forms and ceremonies, these prayers and pilgrimages, these books, bells, candles, and priests, are the preparations; they take off the impurities from the soul. Swami Vivekananda.
Develop all these qualities through daily prayers and meditation. Swami Chinmayananda
Most people close their eyes, when they pray. This is the general practice. The eyes remain closed, as they join their hands or bow their heads in the presence of God.
However, in most instances, when worldly people pray, their minds may remain active and distracted due to lack of discipline, whereby their act of praying becomes just another activity, or a form of a ritual, performed habit or desire to keep their fears and feelings of insecurity assuaged.
A prayer is effective only when it is prayed with sincerity and with the whole being participating in the act. Closing the eyes is just one act of the prayer to concentrate the mind and keep the distractions minimum.The truth is, when we pray we should close not only just our eyes, but all the other senses and the mind as well. We cannot approach the divine with a disturbed mind and distracted attention.
We have to shut our minds and senses completely, to the extent possible, from the external world, in order to find the center of peace and light within where we can rest thoughts and our prayers with heightened awareness.
The image in front of us, if we choose to keep one to address our prayers, is helpful in keeping the mind steady and concentrated. It acts a door or a wormhole through which, with some effort, we can enter the House of God.
In the mind of an earnest devotee who is absorbed in the thoughts of God, a prayer becomes a vehicle through which his thoughts and feelings are transported to another world.
When his senses are under control and his mind is not distracted, a worshipper is in a better position to attune himself to his higher aspirations and thereby to the higher forces of the universe.
However, this is not the only effective way to pray to God. The beauty and strength of life is that in any given situation we have choices and opportunities to achieve the same goal or approach the same truth in different ways. The paths to God are many and all paths lead to him only. A prayer is not an exception.
There is another method, prescribed by some schools of devotional theism, in which devotees are allowed to pray and sing while gazing adoringly at the image of their personal deity for prolonged periods of time, with their senses fully awake, and their minds filled with rapturous devotion and full concentration.
This generally results in the devotees' falling into trance or some trance mental state. Here, the highest form of devotion is manifested in the ordinary plane of consciousness and the divine is almost pulled into the earthly plane by its magnetic force.Although the mind and the senses are not actively restrained, they become subdued and silent due to the sheer force of devotion and the pull of love for God.
In some cases, the practice is allowed to go to the extremes. Here the devotees not only sing and dance, but give full expression to their heartfelt emotions, till they fall into some kind of trance or ecstatic state.
The ideas of detachment and renunciation of the worldly life, which are central to all spiritual life, become manifested in their mode of worship.
They experience deep feelings of unbridled joy and inner freedom, so much so that sometimes they lose sight of all social inhibitions and exhibit their love for the divine in extraordinary ways. In such cases, devotees may even give the impression to the onlookers that they are insane or mentally imbalanced.
It is difficult to say which of these methods one should follow. It depends upon each individual, his or her religious background, and inner disposition. Some people prefer the silent way of praying, because they feel more comfortable with it and to communicate with God through the silent recesses of their minds.
Some people prefer the noisy way, which brings out the best or the worst in them, whereby in the end they may feel either disturbed and exhausted or experience a greater state of inner calm descending upon them through their energized minds and bodies, filled with divine love, and transformed or purified with positive energy.
God being what He is, He would not perhaps discriminate from one devotee and another. He may be amused by all the approaches we use in expressing our love and devotion, but neverthless treats his devotees with the same love and attention. What makes the difference is the sincerity and the child purity of approach, supported by an unwavering mind and firm faith.
Formal and informal prayers
A prayer is an act of speaking or communicating with the object of your devotion. One may even consider it an act of begging, beseeching or petitioning.
It is true that in prayers devotees often express their fears, anger or frustration as they lose hope, but it is rare. People use prayers primarily to express, to communicate and to be heard, using their thoughts, emotions and speech.
In doing so they may engage their minds, senses and various organs in their bodies.Thus, a prayer is not a mere verbal act, but the wholesome act of the very beingness. In prayer you connect your heart to that of God. If you want solutions to your problems, you may use your faculties but it is better if you add prayer as part of the solution with complete faith.
As the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram used to say, your prayer has to be done with child trust that it will reach the Lord and do its work. There should be no conflict whatsoever in your thinking or approach.
If there is a conflict, or if the mind vacillates between faith and lack of faith or trust and distrust, your prayer will lack the conviction and power of simple faith.
Hindu prayers essentially fall into two categories, formal and informal. In formal prayers, devotees have to follow a strict code of conduct and observe chastity and purity.
While praying and worshipping God they have to abide by the rules and scriptural injunctions as dictated by tradition or custom and use only those prayers which are approved by tradition.
Such prayers may also involve elaborate rites and rituals and the assistance of priests.
In such prayers one cannot take any liberties with the wording of the prayers or how they are used in worship. Every action has to be performed according to a procedure, including what to offer, when to offer and whom to offer.
Most Vedic sacrificial ceremonies and ceremonial prayers which involve the invocation of gods fall into this category. Informal prayers, on the other hand, do not require elaborate arrangements.You may create your own prayers according to your convenience and imagination or use standard prayers without having to observe the formalities as in case of the Vedic ceremonies.
In Hinduism, you will see both approaches and a range of practices that fall in between. In the temples, the priests offer formal prayers, while the devotees usually follow informal methods to pray to the deities. One may also see combination of these approaches in puja (pooja) or domestic worship.
On certain occasions they follow a strict code of conduct and worship with discipline, while on other occasions they may take liberties and worship according to convenience. Traditionally, domestic worship is also supposed to be formal in which the deity has to be invited, offered a seat and worshipped with all the customary hospitality.
However, people follow those methods only on certain auspicious occasions and at other times follow the informal approach.
Praying with the right attitude
In both formal and informal approaches, the attitude and the aspiration with which one prays are as important as the wording itself for the prayers to be effective. The heart must be filled with right aspiration. The mind must be attuned to right attitude.
One may organize elaborate, formal prayer sessions or sacrificial ceremonies. However, if the attitude and aspiration is lacking, they may prove ineffective.
The elaborate arrangements in formal prayers and the discipline which they demand are meant to test one’s faith, commitment and devotion to the deity.
They are meant to see whether you are willing to make necessary sacrifices to win the approval of God, but certainly not to strengthen your ego or establish your moral and social superiority in society. Whether you use formal prayers or the informal ones, right attitude is important ito conduct any prayer.
While people may pray to God according to their beliefs and approaches, they should pray with right attitude and right aspiration.
In this regard, certain factors, such as the ones which are stated below, seem to play an important role in improving the attitude and aspiration of the mind and making the prayer effective.
However, it is important to remember that attitude or aspiration has to arise naturally as an expression or consequence of inner purity and pure devotion, not as affected.Prayer is essentially an expression of pure devotion, and pure devotion is the culmination of prolonged spiritual effort, in which everything falls off from the center of a devotee's life and only God and devotion for him remain.
1. Shraddah: Prayers require shraddah, which is more than faith. The word sraddah has multiple meanings. It means faith, trust, confidence, sincerity, interest, respect, commitment, reverence and positive attitude.
All these are important and must be expressed in a prayer to make it effective. Shraddah is also the foundation of religious faith, ritual worship and spiritual practice.
Without it one cannot progress far on the path of liberation or in any worldly or religious activity.
2. Bhayam: Literally speaking, bhayam means fear. However, from ethical perspective fear means the attitude with which one approaches a parent, teacher, elderly person or a deity.
It is a combination of fear, respect, reverence, humility and admiration.
One has to bring this attitude to worship and while communicating with God because it shows how much you care for your relationship with him and whether you are willing to surrender your pride and ego.
3. Bhakti: Bhakti is the culmination of love for God. It arises from inner purity, knowledge, virtue, predominance of sattva, presence of divine qualities and the merit or good karma of past lives. Bhakti primarily means devotion.
However, it has several secondary meanings such as love, attachment and loyalty, which are equally important in cultivating the right attitude in devotional worship.
Bhatki is the true of test of whether you are willing to sacrifice your life for the love of God and become an offering in his eternal sacrifice.
4. Daya: Prayers are most effective when they are prayed for the welfare of others. Daya means compassion and generosity.
It is a divine quality, which is best expressed when you are moved by the suffering of others or when you intend to help others without any personal motive to express your love and devotion to God. Showing compassion to others is also the best way to please God and earn his grace.
Prayer becomes an expression of Dharma when you use it to help others. By praying for others, you truly fulfill the purpose of your life, which is to represent God upon earth as his very Self and ensure the order and regularity of the world.
Prayer as the universal form of worshp and religous practice
The use of prayers as the declaration of faith, love and devotion to God is universal to all religions. Prayers remove all the externalities and bring humans closer to God and to heaven.
You may be told and trained to pray, but the prayer which wells up in the heart of a sincere devotee as an expression of pure love and unflinching faith is the most effective, whether it adheres to any rules or not. God himself is not bound to any rules.
Therefore, it is not necessary that the act of praying or worshipping has to.
In mundane life, prayers are the means to establish communion with God. For worldly people who are engaged in householder duties, praying is the first step in cultivating religiosity, faith and devotion.It opens their minds to their spiritual nature and the idea of liberation from existential suffering through spiritual means.
The first religion in the world was probably established the day when someone for the first time learned to pray and found it effective.
In the beginning when people start praying, they may do so to fulfil their desires or overcome their fears.
They may occasionally pray when they need something, when they have a problem or when they remember God.
However, at some stage, their faith strengthens and their devotion becomes purer, as they overcome their desires and worldliness and advance into higher states of yoga as true devotees.
Prayer literally means the cry (arthra) of a suffering soul.
In the Bhagavadgita Lord Krishna says that he responds to the calls made by those who are in distress, but does not consider them his dearest devotees who are forever absorbed in his thoughts.
If you are at the center of your life, you cannot truly overcome duality or feel oneness with God, and you cannot truly remove the barrier that stands between.
Through prayers you should break that barrier and let God reside in your heart and consciousness as your very Self. Prayers should lead to pure devotion, strengthening of faith and inner transformation. That is the true purpose of prayers.As devotion strengthens and as one makes progress on the path, prayer becomes a way of life, a part of one’s meditation, remembrance, declaration of love and faith.
In the heightened states of devotion, prayer becomes meditation and contemplation, as one develops a continuous, reverential and prayerful attitude and engages the mind in the contemplation of God, which eventually leads to self-absorption and liberation.