The Relationship Between Prayer and the Worship of God
The Difference Between the General Prayer and the Worship of God
We now have some understanding of what worship is, but are perhaps not too clear about what the difference between prayer and worship really is. It looks like they both are people praying, but why is some prayer the worship of God and some not? How should we differentiate them? There is a difference here regarding the level of prayer and the realm of prayer. How should we distinguish levels and realms? First of all, we need to see whether there is knowledge of God in prayer and also whether there is obedience to God in prayer. Finally, we need to see whether there is real praise of God and true thanks to God in prayer. These are the three elements, that is, the three key points. This kind of prayer has the characteristics of worship. If prayer does not contain these three elements, these three key points, then this kind of prayer is not worship of God but is prayer of a general nature and meaning. Worshiping God is the most glorious thing. It is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle that created beings should worship God. If created beings can worship God, then this is glorifying God and will be blessed by God. If Christians, by which I mean, all those who believe in God, can achieve true worship of God, they can be said to be those who serve God most truly. If people serving God can achieve frequent true worship of God, then their service is the highest form of service and the one most after God’s heart. Why is worship of God the highest form of service? First of all, we must understand that God is the most glorious One and He needs created beings to worship Him. This symbolizes the Creator finding rest. So how can we achieve true worship of God? As we just said, we must have knowledge of the glory of God, all that God has and is, God’s authority, God’s disposition, and the kingdom of God. When people really know God, their praying to God will be different; they will be pious and have a God-fearing, God-praising heart. They will be able to prostrate themselves, and they will keep on praising God and feel that God is too glorious, that they have nothing to pray for. They will see God’s glory and can say nothing but praise for God. They will feel that only by praising more can they express themselves. So the more people know God, the more praise they have for God. The more they know God in their heart, the more love they have for God in their heart. So worship of God is established on a foundation of knowing God. Only people who know God can attain the highest realms of prayer, can give glory to God and have true worship of God. The meaning of giving glory to God is very deep. We all now know that heaven and earth and all things were created by God, but how much of God’s glory have we really seen during our lives on earth? How well do we really know God? Do we see God’s blessing? God leads us step by step, guides us step by step and provides for us step by step. Do we see how Satan makes us suffer, and how God saves us, how so many times we faced the threat of death and were unknowingly saved by God, who kept us out of danger, and how many times we have escaped when faced with the danger of death? Whose hands is it that save us? We do not see that. When we face adversity and setbacks, we still complain about God and even complain that God is unfair, still keep away from God and deny God. Can people who are in this situation of ignorance and rebellion against God truly praise God? Can they glorify God? People do not even know what kind of glory God should receive, nor can they see the glory of God. If people see the glory of God, can they still complain about God, keep away from God and deny God? So we are all blind and ignorant, foolish and rebellious, nothing at all. How can this kind of created being glorify God? How can we give God peace of mind and enjoyment? So our pursuit of the truth is not only to meet our personal demands—obtaining salvation, being free from disaster and not dying. Even more importantly, it is for us the created beings to satisfy the Creator. Only by living a true life can we, the created mankind, worship the Creator and in so doing, satisfy and glorify God. Tell me, is it reasonable that we still want to see God when we cannot see the glory of God? Can we meet with God when we cannot understand His words and have no entry into them, do not possess the truth, nor are we equipped with the truth as we should be, when we have not been cleansed and have not achieved changes? We are unworthy of seeing God. If we are reasonable, we should now pursue the truth hard and be obedient to God’s work, strive to really enter God’s words in order to be obedient to God and be made complete by God, and finally to have a true knowledge of God and really praise Him. Not until this time will we be eligible to welcome the days when God openly appears to us. Now we are not preparing ourselves well and only thinking about seeing God. This indicates we do not have a conscience or sense. Is this not the case? Although we say that we believe in God, in our hearts we one hundred percent admit that what we believe in is God incarnate and the Spirit of God materialized in the flesh. This flesh looks like the flesh of ordinary and common people from the outside, but do we see clearly how glorious God is? Do we see clearly how great God’s authority is? Do we see clearly how noble God is? We have no knowledge of these, so how can we glorify God? We cannot see God’s glory, but only see God wearing an ordinary flesh, so we treat God as the same as ordinary people. Is this not so blind and ignorant? God is so glorious, so noble; His authority is so great, and His deeds are unfathomable to humans. He rules over all things in the universe, He creates and dominates all things. Such an almighty God is dressed in the most ordinary flesh, humbly hides in the world and suffers the greatest humiliation. Do we understand that? Do we have little real understanding? We see the flesh God wears is not lofty enough and is not as people imagine, so we have notions and judge God. What does this show? What disposition is this? Do you not think that the more ordinary the flesh such a noble and glorious God wears, the more significant it is? What is the significance? What does it represent? Do you not know? Doesn’t it worth people’s efforts to know and ponder about that? So how can your prayers become worship if you do not see the glory of God? Have people thought about what the glory of God actually is and what kind of God He really is? Some people have thought about this, but cannot imagine. So they take a casual attitude when they pray to God, and their words are very sloppy. They are not pious or reverent at all, as if they were talking to ordinary people. Are these people those who see the glory of God? No. These are people who do not know God and have almost no knowledge of God. If people can see the glory of God, their prayers will immediately change.