Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Worship/Prayer - Who's It For?

**Updated**

Consider these two statements, both made by well known and regarded pastors:

"Worship is God's gift to us, intended for our blessing and benefit. He doesn't need it - we do."
(Pastor Jack Hayford, quoted in Leadership Magazine)

and

"Prayer is not primarily for us, it is for God. Prayer is not so much to gain for us what we think we need as it is to give to God an opportunity to manifest His glory. Prayer is for God, only incidentally and as a by-product is it for us."
(Pastor John MacArthur, The Priority of Prayer, Transcript No. 2235)

Who is correct? Both? Neither? Are they saying the same or different things? Can these statements be reconciled? What do you think?

(I've purposefully not attributed the names of the two pastors that made these statements so as not to influence in any way our consideration of what was said, rather than who said it. I'll post the pastors' names in the coming week.)
_

3 Comments:

At 9/07/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger David McCrory said...

"Worship is God's gift to us, intended for our blessing and benefit. He doesn't need it - we do."

- This is close to being correct. Worship has to do with the "worthiness" of God. Worship is our response to Him as His people for His great goodness and kindness to us, best exemplified in His Son, Jesus Christ.

And he is right in saying God doesn't "need" worship, He is completely sufficient (the doctrine of the asiety of God) in and of Himself. Yet, worship is pleasing to the Lord and provides Him the divine means by which to glorify Himself and manifest His grace.

"Prayer is not primarily for us, it is for God. Prayer is not so much to gain for us what we think we need as it is to give to God an opportunity to manifest His glory. Prayer is for God, only incidentally and as a by-product is it for us."

- this comment is way off. Prayer is for us in every way. Our supplications don't change the eternal decrees of God, those things which He has predetermined to do through His own holy counsel. But by His answering, or not answering our prayers, we are changed through our understanding of His will.

Likewise,prayer is a form of worship and therefore, in a sense, can be said to have some of the same qualities other forms or worship do as well.

 
At 9/08/2006 6:22 AM, Blogger Gomarus said...

My first thought is that both comments are wrong. Worship is for God and prayer is for us.

God desires and deserves the worship of his people although he is self-sufficient. Prayer is for us in that we are changed by it, rather than God. Prayer forces us to acknowledge our dependence upon him.

Then again, I could be wrong. :-)

 
At 9/08/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Isn't our spiritual act of worship, offering our lives to God, submitting to Him in everything? This would ecompass prayer, and as we come to the Lord with our requests He changes us, as was already stated.

I agree that prayer is a way God manifests His glory. Our worship of Him, which is made possible through Christ's life living in us, and the death of our old selves, is also ultimately for God to manifest His glory. Perhaps I'm just oversimplifying it... I would say both worship and prayer are for us, in that they change us to be more like Christ, which overarchingly, is how God really displays His power and glory.

I don't know...?

 

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