Thursday, March 08, 2007

Worship Insights # 2 - Martyn Layzell

Intimacy - a lost language?
Recently I was in a meeting where someone was asking me about my prayer life and spiritual journey with God. I began (proudly) to tell them that I was part of a church that had a vision to see intercessory prayer explode across the nations and worked closely alongside the prayer pastor to organize prayer nights, daily prayer meetings and accountability groups. I also regularly led worship, fasted & try hard to 'connect' with God through His word daily. At the end of my little speech this kind person said to me,"Gosh, sounds like you are doing too much intercessory prayer! You just need to have a cup of tea with the Lord."
At first I thought, "Oh bless... doesn't she realize I'm a worship pastor in a busy church with a busy programme and a busy life to boot. Three kids under 5, a wife, a mortgage etc etc. But then I realized that what she said was actually quite profound.
The next day I was reading Matthew 7:7. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. My prayer life and worship had become a combination of 'shopping list' requests and statements telling God how great he is.
I realized that my wife wouldn't be very happy if all I said to her was "YOU LOOK GREAT TODAY! I LOVE THE WAY YOU COOKED DINNER! I LOVE THE WAY YOU DRESS! Although she initially might be flattered after a while I think I would just annoy her. What she's looking for is intimacy, a connection of heart and tenderness.
Too often in my worship I have sought to lead people so strongly that I have not modelled an intimate relationship with the father. Matthew 7:9 says "Which of you, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if heasks for a fish will give him a snake? If you then though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him"
Our requests in prayer need to be rooted in relationship with Abba Father. He knows what we need already but loves the dialogue as it build relationship. Being a father of 3 small blonde boys I can understand that a little bit. So often I know what they need - a drink, snack, TV on etc. I could preempt all their requests with action but that would mean we would hardly speak. How much nicer when they come and pull on my shirt tails for my attention!
Matthew 7:21 goes on to say "Not everyone who says 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of Heaven. Verse 23: "I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you'. The question is Do we know God? Is our relationship with him going deeper? I realize too often that I become his servant/worker rather then his friend and co-worker. Jesus says in John "I no longer call you servants, I call you friends".
I believe in a time where there is an explosion of prayer and worship we are in danger of losing the language of intimacy. What does it really mean to 'come towards to kiss'. Psalm 2 says "Kiss the Son lest he be angry". That's pretty strong!
God Bless,


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