Monday, October 13, 2014

Praying, Chosen Worship, and Discovered Worship (PrayerLife)

Sunrise on a Monroe County road (10/12/14)

I see answers to prayer and write them in my journal. An answer to prayer causes me to feel thankful. Thankfulness has a subject, and in the case of answered prayer the subject is God.

I thank God, sometimes over and over repetitively. Sometimes wordlessly in my heart, sometimes vocally with my mouth. Thank you God. Thank you God! Thank you...

The answered prayer brings thanksgiving, and thanksgiving often transforms into worship. I find myself exalting God. I glorify and magnify God. Which means: I make large God's attributes. I worship you God for your lovingkindness and mercy. You are great. You are powerful. Great are you Lord!

Here I am, alone with God, praying and giving thanks and worshiping with all my heart. This is spontaneous heart-worship. Sometimes it is accompanied with tears of joy and wonder. I gain insights into the being of God, which serves to increase my heart of worship.

Worshiping God is a subset of the inclusive act of praying. Sometimes it is spontaneous, and sometimes it is intentional. In the language of the late University of Chicago sociologist Mircea Eliade sometimes worship is discovered (evocative) and sometimes it is chosen (provocative). Sometimes worship comes on me unexpectedly, at other times I choose to worship.

Chosen worship is one of the ways I commonly enter into a time of praying. I begin naming the attributes of God (= the glory of God) and expand on them. I do this either inwardly in my mind, or vocally with spoken words. 

Chosen worship is a pathway to heart worship; discovered worship is an eruption of immediate heart worship. Either way worship is an ingredient of my praying life.