• Christian Praise and Worship,  Christian Praise Songs,  Leading Christian Praise and Worship,  Song Services

    Christian Praise: Are Our Song Services Too Long?

    Song Services Too Long

     

    Christian Praise is a subject that is very close to my heart and so I was curious this morning when I received a message telling me of a certain website which was asking the question: Who Wants All That Music! He said,

    “Here’s my question: Who wants 30-40+ minutes of music in worship? Who? Why? I mean…explain this to  me. I seriously do not get it.”  

    My interest was certainly peeked by this question and the answers that followed. It was so peeked that I almost was late for my own Christian Praise and Worship Service   and yes, we had about 30 minutes of Christian Praise and Worship and I loved every moment of it.

    In reading the responses from many of the people it was clear to me that most do not understand the purpose of spending 30-40 minutes singing in a church service. They do not realize that this is actually a very short period of time.

     

    The Psalmist David said in Psalm 84:1-4

    1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!

    1. My soul yearns, even faints,for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out

    for the living God.

    1. Even the sparrow has found a home,and the swallow a nest for herself,where she may have her young—a place near your altar,O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
    2. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

    Then verse 10 says: Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

    David loved being in the presence of God. His heart and soul yearns for the courts of the Lord. He says better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.

    Why can’t we be like David, why don’t we all yearn for the presence of God? Where is the presence of God? In the praises of His people! Psalm 22:3

    What about Zephania 3:17 that says that God rejoices over us with singing.

    What about the fact that the Levites were commissioned to praise God on musical instruments…Do you think they did this for 5 minutes and then gave up?Do you think that the Glory of God would come into our presence without our praises?

    Do you think that the worship in the temple lasted only 1 hour so that people could get home to make their roasts for Sunday dinner?

    God says to keep the Sabbath and that it is Holy unto Him…We work for 8 hours every day, do we complain about spending time in God’s presence for 30-40 minutes?

    I really don’t understand how people are complaining about praising God. Maybe I’m missing something here but I think we need more people like David who wished he could spend more and more time in God’s presence singing Praises to God.

    Just in case you wish to read the comments that were made then I will give you the link:

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/open-mic-at-the-imonk-cafe-who-wants-all-that-music/comment-page-2#comment-518334

    photo credit: jasonbolonski via photopin cc

  • Christian Praise and Worship,  Leading Christian Praise and Worship,  Song Services

    Christian Praise: Leading Christian Praise and Worship Music

    Leading Christian Praise and Worship

     

    As a Christian Praise and Worship Music leader, I am often asked “What is the best way to lead a Song Service?”. Although, I am sure many of you may not agree with me I always feel that a Christian Song Service should start with Thanksgiving and Christian Praise and then move on to Christian Worship. If you have been reading my blog or ezine articles you will see that I believe that there is a distinct difference between Christian Praise and Christian Worship.

    When people walk into the church service they have many things on their minds. They are usually not prepared to jump into Christian Worship right off of the street. I have seen this done in some services and you can tell that the people are trying really hard to worship, but they are just not prepared properly to just jump into it. It is extremely hard for anyone to stop what they have been doing and engage in such an intimate time with God without first getting their heads together.

    The Psalmist David said “I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart; I will enter His courts with Praise.” (Psalm 100:4)

    Some of us may not be feeling very happy when we come into song service, although most people will prepare themselves mentally in some respect before church service starts. The problem is that if you are going through hard times, you may come into the song service with a very heavy heart.

    If we start our Christian Praise and Worship Services directly with a Christian Worship song such as “I Stand in Awe of You”, many people will not be mentally prepared to commune with God in this way at that moment in time.

    But if we start our song service with Christian Praise songs such as “I Will Enter His Gates” or “This is the Day that the Lord Has Made”, they will start to focus in on God and then we can start to lead them slowly, song by song leading up to Christian Worship. Then they will be in the proper state of mind to truly worship God in His Holiness.

    You can use these simple steps also in your own private time alone with God to bring yourself from a place of hurriedness to a place where you can worship God in Spirit and Truth. I hope this little post on Christian Praise and Worship Music has helped you.

  • Christian Praise and Worship,  Prayer in the Square

    Christian Praise: Prayer in the Square

    Prayer in the Square

     

    For those of you who wish to know, Sunday September 20, 2009 was the final gathering of “Prayer in the Square”. This is where Christians from all denomination gather together to offer up Christian Praise and Prayer unto God on behalf of our nation.

    Last Year “Prayer in the Square” had around 18000 people but this year a whopping estimate of 60,000 people showed up. Many congregations, such as ours, were not able to make it to Times Square in New York City on Sunday but joined together via the Internet along with many other countries. Wow! I can’t imagine the amount of Christian Praise and Prayer going up on our behalf.

    If you want to read more about it I have posted the link here: Prayer in the Square

     

  • Christian Praise and Worship,  Christian Praise Songs

    Christian Praise: Out of the Mouth of Babes

    Out of the Mouth of Babes pic

    Christian Praise may not seem like the thing you would like to do in a bad situation, but sometimes, singing praises to God is in actuality the Best Thing you can do for yourself.

    I already mentioned in another blog post how the purpose of Christian Praise is to benefit us, and not God. It helps us to take our minds off of what is going around us, the things running through our minds and to focus on all that God has done for us.

    Sometimes, when we are deep in the mire of bad circumstances Christian Praise can be the last thing on our minds.

    I want to share a little story with you about how Christian Praise can turn a bad situation totally around and lift us up out of the miry clay when everything seems to be coming down upon us.

    Many years ago, when I was still quite young, I had married a Christian man who seemed to love the Lord. Sadly, I found upon marrying him that he had a terrible problem with alcohol and although I had thought he was over it, he apparently was not. I went through quite a few years of terrible suffering because of the problem and had gotten very discouraged.

    At one point in my life, we were going through an unusually bad time with his drinking. I had my two children by then and they were very young. One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my cup of tea and wondering why God would have allowed this to happen to me. Why was I suffering so? What had I done to deserve this? (I am sure you know the despair and depression we can get ourselves into just thinking upon all of the problems we have).

    My 2 year old daughter was sitting on the kitchen floor with her doll brush in her hand and was trying to give the cat a new hairdo. The cat didn’t mind at all and was use to her playing with her like this. So there I was trying to keep back the tears and she was blissfully brushing the cat’s hair. How innocent she was, blissfully unaware of the problems in life.

    All of a sudden, I heard her sweet little voice quietly start to sing  as she continued to brush the cat’s hair. She was singing a very old Christian Praise song that I hadn’t sung in ages. There she was, like a little angel with her little voice singing the chorus of “At the Cross”

    In case you don’t know the song, the words to the chorus are here;

    At The Cross

    At the cross, at the cross

    Where I first saw the light

    And the burdens of my heart rolled away

    It was there by faith

    I received my sight

    And now I am happy all the day

    She kept singing it over and over again and I realized that God was right there in that very room with us. He was telling me not to look at the problems but to keep my eyes on Him. Just like when I had first became a Christian and realized what God had done for me, the feelings of faith and love strengthened me again and I could truly say that I became Happy. I realized that I had taken my eyes off of Jesus and was focused on my problems. It took my little child to remind me that my problems aren’t so big after all. When I think about the cross and all that God had done for me my burdens surely roll away.

    I will never forget that day (and I took the picture above to help remind me). I thank God that I had the problems because once I realized how big God is and how much He loved me, I was able to take courage and realize that loving God was all that was important. I just needed to love God, and be a good mom to my children. That was all that was expected of me. What a happy day that was.

    The bible tells us in Matthew 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”

    Christian Praise will flood your soul when you take your eyes off of your problems and focus on God and all that He has done for you.

  • Christian Praise and Worship,  The Secret

    Christian Praise: It Benefits Us, Not God

    Christian Praise Benefits Us Not God

     

    Christian Praise is something that we do to benefit us. Yes, I know this sounds kind of selfish but the truth of the matter is that God admonishes us to Praise Him, not because He needs it but because we need it.

    Sadly, some people get confused and think that it is their duty to offer Christian Praise to God. It is as if it is on their “to do list” of things that we must do to be a good Christian.

    Other things on that “to do list” are:

    • Going to Church on Sunday
    • Praying
    • Being Polite to Others

    We feel that by being a good little Christian this will somehow earn us brownie points in heaven. How foolish people can be!

    Think about it:

    Why would God need us to praise Him, or to show up for church on Sunday or to Pray or any other religious duty we feel we may need to do?

    This kind of thinking stems from old pharisaic legalism that has nothing to do with our true Christian Worship. All of these things are to do with what God wants to do for us and in us to benefit our lives.

    I mentioned in another blog post  “Christian Praise: The Secret of the Universe” :  that the True Secret to God’s Universe is not what they are teaching in Law of Attraction Seminars all over the world, but rather, it is “The Secret of Christian Praise”. This is because of the many benefits we derive from Christian Praise.

    Sadly, many people think that if they do things such as praising the Lord, or showing up for Church on Sunday or praying etc., that then they will win favors with God. They think because of their so called “devotion”, God will allow them certain things, and do things for them, because somehow they have proved themselves worthy.

    I Want to Make This Point Very, Very Clear:

    You Will Never be Worthy Enough in God’s Eyes

    To Receive Anything from God

    Based on Anything that You DO!

    We receive from God and are blessed by God, Because of What He Did for us.

    He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for us and become the appropriation for our sins. It is because of Christ’s death and Christ’s death alone, that makes us worthy.

    He is our Righteousness. When God looks at us He sees the Righteousness of Christ, not because of works that we have done but because of who we belong to. We are heirs with God and Joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17)

    Titus 3:5 (kjv) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

    Romans 5:8 (esv) But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Christian Praise then is a vehicle in which we draw nigh to God. It is a remembrance of all that God has done for us and in us. As we spend time in God’s presence and wait upon Him it is there that we gain the strength and comfort that is needed in our daily lives.

    Christian Praise is for our Benefit and not for God’s.

    God is not Some Self-indulgent Entity

    that Requires that we pay Homage to Him.

    He is not like the gods of the heathen that need alms and praise to appease Him.

    God loves us just the way we are. He looks beyond our faults and sees the blood of Christ which covers a multitude of sins. He sees us as His children and lovingly reaches down his hands in love to help us.

    God is deserving of our praise, but he certainly doesn’t need it.

    Christian Praise is something we should do on a daily basis, not because God needs it, but because we do.

    Isaiah 40:31 says “They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint. “

    Here is one of my favorite songs. It’s a beautiful song based on Isaiah 40:31 “On Eagle’s Wings”

  • Christian Praise and Worship,  Leading Christian Praise and Worship,  Song Services

    Christian Praise: Let’s Forget About Ourselves

    Christian Praise Lifting Holy Hands

     

    As a Christian Praise and Worship Leader I realize that many people who come into our church services are a little frazzled and perhaps have many things on their minds. It’s not easy getting a family all dressed and ready to come to Church on Sunday mornings and our thoughts may be scattered and our nerves may be frazzled from all of the preparation.

    Our motives are right, there is no denying that, but when we come into the house of the Lord we may not be at our best to offer Christian Praise and worship.

    I find it very beneficial to start out our Christian Praise and Worship Service with songs and Scriptures on Praise that help us to get our focus corrected.

    The Christian Praise and Worship Music should be aimed at leading the congregation from a place of Praise to the inner sanctuary where we can worship God in the beauty of His Holiness.

    I do not understand churches that start their Christian Praise with Worship. How can I walk in off the street after perhaps battling it out with the kids in the car and be prepared to enter the Holy of Holies?

    Yes, some days I can put myself together and actually walk in prepared to worship but for the majority of people they need to be led into Christian Praise and Worship like leading a small child.

    Our minds are like little children and they don’t always want to do what we want them to do when we want them to do it. This is one of the reasons that the Bible tells us that we need to renew our minds and that is done only through the Word of God.

    Because I am acutely aware of the things that go on when preparing to get to church on Sunday I do not start the Christian Praise and Worship Service with purely Worship songs. I will always start off on a plane where many people find themselves when they walk into the service. This is why I generally start the service with songs like:

    I Will Enter His Gates

    I will enter His Gates with Thanksgiving in my Heart

    I will enter His Courts with Praise

    I will say this is the day that the Lord has made

    I will rejoice for He has made me glad

    He has made me glad, He has made me glad

    I will rejoice for He has made me glad

    He has made me glad, He has made me glad

    I will rejoice for He has made me glad

    This brings our focus away from the momentary distractions and helps us to remember that “this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”(Psalm 118:24)

    Then I might go into the Chorus: “What a Mighty God we Serve

    This brings us closer to realizing how Great God is.

    Another great chorus to help us prepare ourselves is the wonderful Christian Praise Song:

    We Have Come into This House
    The Chorus goes;
    We have come into this house and gathered in His Name to Worship Him 3x
    Worship Him Christ the Lord
    He is all my righteousness, I stand complete in Him and Worship Him 3x
    Worship Him Christ the Lord

    Once we sing a christian praise song like this, we hopefully focus on why we are here in Church. Once we get ourselves lined up in why we are here and what we are here to do and how great God is, then we are truly ready to offer Him Worship.
    First, Comes Christian Praise and that leads to Worship.

    You can listen to a nice version of the song: We Have Come Into This House

    Photo Credit: Ricardo Camacho (Creative Commons)

  • Christian Praise and Worship,  The Secret

    Christian Praise: The Secret of the Universe

    Praise The Secret of the Universe

     

    Christian Praise Has Power!

    Many people have read the book “The Secret” and do not realize that many of the teachings in there came from Christian Praise Principles taught in the Bible. Yes, the Bible has many things to say about the Christian Praise Principles that can be used to enhance our daily lives today.

    The main difference is that “The Secret” focuses on our own wants and desires, …what we can get…pretty selfish actually 🙁

    This is where people miss the actual law that this premise is based on. God does promise to give us the desires of our heart and give us an abundant life but our hearts must be set on Him. Loving Him with all of our strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

    We are to do nothing out of vain ambition but we are to consider others better than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

    Matthew 6: 19-21: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    In John 10:10: Jesus said, The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I came that they may have life and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) Amplified Bible.

    As Christians we know that the thief is referring to is the Devil. All evil comes from him. He is here to steal, kill and destroy us and our dreams if he can. But, through the power of Christian Praise, we are able to stop the fiery darts of the devil as we learn to lift our voices in praise to God who loves to pour his blessing upon all of His Children. Blessings are ours as we Praise God.

    There is immense power in Christian Praise and the Devil does not want you to know about it. He will do all he can to keep you in a negative mindset because he knows that as long as you are dwelling on your problems, you will not be in the mood to praise God and will forfeit the blessings God has for you.

    This is why Christian Praise is often referred to as the “Sacrifice of Praise“.

    We need to come out from the darkness and despair and offer to God the sacrifice of Praise. It is miraculous but, as we begin to offer up these sacrifices of Christian Praise, God comes to inhabit the praises of His people and things begin to change.

    Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15

    Yes, God actually inhabits, or lives, in the praises of His People. When we offer Christian Praise we are actually bringing God right onto the scene in our lives.

    Psalm 22:3 says “But Thou Art Holy, Thou that inhabitist the praises of Israel”.

    Let us look at Paul and Silas as an example: Paul and Silas when beaten and put in jail for proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ could have sat there and complained. I can picture it now can’t you?

    “Oh great, here we are trying to get the good news out and we end up in this cold, dark jail. Where is God? Why would He let this happen to us?”

    But they didn’t complain. The Bible tells us that they sang praises to God! Can you imagine! Even in that dark, cold gloomy jail, they didn’t think about their circumstances. No! They thought about the blessings of God and Christian Praise flowed from that dark, gloomy dungeon.

    Acts 16:16-35: God sent an earthquake and all the chains from the prison doors were loosed. No one fled, they stayed right where they were. This ended up being a miracle to the jailer who thought he would have lost all of the prisoners, but this worked together for the good of Paul and Silas. Not only were they set free, but the jailer came to know the Lord through them.

    What Lessons we can learn from this:

    • When we allow Christian Praise to flow out from us, God comes to abide.
    • When we allow Christian Praise to flow out from us, God sets us free.
    • When we allow Christian Praise to flow out from us, God’s love is proclaimed.
    • When we allow Christian Praise to flow out of us, all things will work together for our good because we love God and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

    “The Secret” may have some people fooled into thinking that just being positive will bring them all that they want but it is very plainly a lie from the Devil. It is only as we praise God and believe in Him in faith that He will bring about the things He has promised us.

    What things?

    • He came to give us abundant life
    • He promises to work all things out together for good to those that love Him
    • He promises to add all the things that are necessary for life if we seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness
    • He promises us that if we believe, we will receive that which we ask for.

    This is truly the real SECRET of the Universe!

    Image: Space (by Sweety 187, Flickr.com, Creative Commons)