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Worship: Offering Up Thoughts of Our Hearts and Minds 

Prayer as a form of worship

Hebrews 13.15

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 6, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Someone once said,

    “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

    1. People often credit Abraham Lincoln with those words, but
    2. we have no proof that he said them.
      1. However, whether he said those words or not,
      2. I know that I have thought that way, and obviously someone else did too.
        1. I have been there often
        2. that I did not know what else to do, but
          1. to pray to God above, for
          2. I had no wisdom for the struggle.
  2. From 872–848 bc, the great-great-great-grandson of David, 
    1. Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah.
    2. Second Chronicles 20 shows that during his reign
      1. armies from Moab, Ammon, from across the sea, Syria, Mount Seir, and Hazazon Tamar (En Gedi)
      2. united together to fight Jehoshaphat and Judah.
        1. Jehoshaphat gathered his people together at the House of the Lord.
        2. Before them all he prayed to the Lord God,
          1. acknowledging God’s power among the nations,
          2. acknowledging God’s work of driving out the Canaanites,
          3. acknowledging that He gave Israel the land,
          4. acknowledging that Israel built Him a sanctuary in the land, and
            1. he remembered part of Solomon’s prayer for the temple,
            2. that if Israel ran into trouble,
              1. they could stand at the House, and
              2. cry out to Him in their trouble and He would save them.
    3. Then in worship with the children of Judah at the House of the Lord,
      1. King Jehoshaphat presented their present distress, praying,

        10 “And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them— 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2Ch 20.10–12).
      2. His prayer shows what prayer is and
      3. why we pray to God.


  1. Prayer Is… 
    1. Open your Bibles to Psalm 86.
    2. When we pray we do as Jehoshaphat did, we speak to God.
      1. Let that sink in.
      2. Also, we say things to Him that we would never say to anyone else.
      3. We ask Him to do things that no one else can do.

        8 Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
        Nor are there any works like Your works.
        9 All nations whom You have made
        Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
        And shall glorify Your name.
        10 For You are great, and do wondrous things;
        You alone are God.
        (Psa 86.8–10)
    3. That is prayer.
      1. It qualifies as something that we offer up to Him,
      2. making it a form of worship.
        1. We do not pray to one lower than us,
        2. we pray to one higher than us.
          1. Who on earth is higher than man?
          2. We have to go beyond earth and
            1. speak to the Creator of the earth.
  2. In the Assembly 
    1. When we assemble to worship,
      1. we communicate with or to our Creator.
      2. How can it be worship, if we do not speak to Him?
        1. With our lips we praise and honor Him,
        2. telling Him what we think of Him, and
          1. thanking Him for being our God, and
          2. thanking Him for what He has given to us.
    2. In the assembly we have the opportunity to unite inwardly and
      1. voice it through one man’s words.
        1. We make requests.
        2. We Amen the prayer.
          1. May we all give a hearty Amen at the close of the prayer,
          2. if you agree with what has been said.
            1. Amen means, May it come to be.
            2. Do you want the prayer to come to pass.
      2. We want to hear someone pray as worship to our God, because
        1. that brother knows God and
        2. that brother knows what we should say to Him,
          1. especially in a worship setting.
          2. And we notice that others think the same way about God.
  3. Prayer Is a Sacrifice

    15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb 13.15).

    1. We continually offer the sacrifice of praise.
      1. That makes sense, does it not?
        1. Who is God and
        2. how has He blessed us?
          1. We should keep praising Him as long as we live, because
          2. we live by His power, and
          3. He keeps blessing us every moment.
      2. It is a sacrifice because
        1. we have given up praising ourselves.
        2. I know the world says that we should praise ourselves, and
          1. unfortunately most Christians listen to the world on this matter, but
          2. Scripture never presents a godly man or woman praising self.
            1. All their attention goes upward and outward.
            2. Luke 18 does show a man praising himself before God,

              9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18.9–14)

              1. Prayer in worship is not about us.
              2. It is about God.
              3. It is about others.
    2. The sacrifice of praise comes from the fruit of our lips.
      1. The Israelites offered fruit.
      2. We offer the fruit that comes out of our mouths, and
        1. just like the fruit we eat,
        2. He is also responsible for the fruit of our lips.
          1. Galatians 5.22–23

            22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Gal 5.22–23).
    3. In prayer, we offer to God a sacrifice of praise,
      1. what comes out of our lips,
      2. worshiping our God by prayer.
  4. Prayer as Worship 
    1. In prayer we humble ourselves before our Creator.
    2. We offer petitions, supplications, and make requests, and
      1. are these not acts performed by the creature toward the Creator?
      2. They are, therefore, forms of worship, making prayer a form of worship.
        1. Think of your personal prayers as worship.
        2. Also think of prayer at our services as worship.
    3. Men, as you lead us in prayer,
      1. picture yourself speaking to God for the congregation.
      2. Imagine the scenario of Revelation 8,

        1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake (Rev 8.1–5).
      3. How then would you pray?
        1. Undoubtedly you would pour out your soul like Hannah did.
        2. You would surely say something, if not all of your prayer, about God.


  1. Men, please think on the prayers 
    1. that you lead for us during the worship/edification assembly.
      1. Be sure you have plenty of praise toward God and
      2. thanksgiving toward Him also.
    2. While requests can be a form of worship, yet,
      1. what do you think of someone who only sees
      2. what they can get out of you?
        1. Do not so pray, and
        2. do not so lead us in prayer,
          1. that we become that way toward God.
          2. Let Him see thankful hearts, and
            1. do not restrict your thankfulness to
              1. matters of the flesh, or
              2. matter of the world, but
            2. thank Him for His spiritual blessings to us.
  2. Now, here is something you need to know in regard to prayer and salvation,

    1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened,
    That it cannot save;
    Nor His ear heavy,
    That it cannot hear.
    2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
    And your sins have hidden His face from you,
    So that He will not hear.
    (Isa 59.1–2)