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Topic: Worship (05/03/04)
TITLE: Worship To Heavens Ears
By Anna Johnson
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There are many forms of worship connecting the human heart to Heaven's ears, but few surpass praise and thankfulness. Praise opens the heart to hear God, and thankfulness proves obedient surrender to His will. What may appear an unlikely worship, "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26) is divine worship where "the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:26). Through His interceding on our behalf, we discover how His silent, yet powerful messages speak through our disconnects and fuzzy needs.
I am most guilty before the Lord of neither praising enough nor being thankful. When times are good, I easily praise His goodness, and thank Him for His gifts. When trials come, however, or remain, my mouth reveals what's hidden in my heart, for "of the abundance of the heart [my] mouth speaketh" (Luke 6:45).
We are told, "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Giving thanks naturally leads to praise, and vice versa, even when the heart feels void of understanding. If understanding were an easy option, we wouldn't need faith. But, don't we want easy options? I know I do, especially when disappointment, impatience, or weariness leads to lack of praise, and bitterness turns to complaining.
Lately I understand most this worship of groanings. When nothing seems to work, and contented worship seems impossible, His interceding through groanings which cannot be uttered shows me my disconnects. When needs seem unsolvable to my limited faith, I even wonder if God hears me, or if He's listening, He may be tired of me rehashing my needs. When tears flow and frustration mounts, I discover "the mind of the Spirit" (Romans 8:27) working His will through me. He wants me to hear my heart as I verbalize my thoughts out loud in unexpected honesty. While my perceived needs may still remain, His Word buried deep in my heart generates new faith. Because He alone is faithful, He always leads me back to Himself after He has searched my heart and shown me how my greatest needs may be to grow in certain areas, learn more patience, or simply wait and wait on His perfect timing, while surrendering my will to His.
While I may not understand in the way I want to, I know all too well that in the end as in the beginning, I have the Lord, the God of the Universe, to comfort and remind me that I am His. He tells me to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [I] may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16), even though my prayers remain unanswered. His interceding and groanings which cannot be uttered release me from barriers separating my heart from worshiping Him through praise and thankfulness, as I continue to fight the good fight.
So it seems worship begins anew as disconnects once again connect to the open ears of Heaven!