Public WorshipBro. David Chancellor
10/17/2004 6:00 PM
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
God planned for public worship. Some have worked, in various ages of time, to restrict or to prohibit public worship. There are places today where public worship is restricted by the government. People will meet together. Jesus will meet his people wherever they gather together. The facility doesnt make the worship better or worse. It is the condition of peoples heart that indicates the quality of the worship. We come together to honor God and to worship him. We need to be respectful and reverent when we come. Be dressed to come into the presence of the king. Come with the right motivation and purpose. We need to come together to pray. We come to bear each others burdens. Be willing to come and pray. It encourages others when their burdens are prayed for in public. Being young or shy is no reason not to pray publicly. God has people of all ages. Be able to pray both publicly and in private.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 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.
This appears to be against public prayer, but it really isnt. The Bible records multiple instances of public prayer. This is warning them against praying publicly for show. Pray to bear the burden and be a help. Dont worry about what others think. Prayer is the cry of the heart to God. Public prayer is a uniting of hearts. The closet means to shut everything else out. Cry out to God to the exclusion of everything else. Be stirred to pray and enter into the burdens of others. Focus on talking to God. Prayer is an expression of the heart. The length of the prayer isnt the issue so long as it is a heart cry to the Lord. Vain repetition isnt a cry of the heart. Prayers dont have to be long to be effective, but when youre praying for many things, prayer can get long. Prayer is about touching God. Prayer is a time to listen to God. Capture what God gives and enter into the service. We dont have to remember every request. If we all let God work on us, every burden will be remembered. Push away the distractions and focus on prayer.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Testimonies are important. Part of our salvation is a public confession of faith. Practice speaking up for God around those who serve God. You dont have to be ashamed or fearful. We should be able to tell others that were saved and serving God. It is testifying to what God has done for us. Testify so that others can see Gods glory and honor in it. Let the praise in your heart come out into your worship. Tell what God did for you. Praise God in a specific way. Ask God to help you know what you can add to the services.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Come to help others. Be here in both mind and body. Come to encourage. Its more than just being here. Encourage each one to continue on. We come together to motivate and help one another. We can be a source of motivation. Coming together can provide the encouragement needed to keep going. Exhorting is a motivational form of speaking. Life has some battles, but we can go through. Can you be an encourager? The important question isnt, Do you get there? but it is What do you do when you get there? We come to get and also to do our part. Come with a desire to enter in and be part of the service. Ask God to help you to enter in and to add to the service to make it beneficial to all.