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Communion With God

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    Chapter 31—Prayer and Public Worship


    “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”—Psalm 122:1CWG 76.1

    “O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.”—Psalm 65:2CWG 76.2


    Since prayer is a very important part of public worship, what are some of the principles I must follow too make my prayers acceptable to God?CWG 76.3


    Sense that God is present: “There should be an intelligent knowledge of how to come to God in reverence and godly fear with devotional love.”—Selected Messages 2:315CWG 76.4

    “True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there.”—Prophets and Kings, 48, 49CWG 76.5

    Kneel whenever possible: “Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before God when we offer our petitions too Him. This act shows our dependence upon God.”—Selected Messages, 2:312CWG 76.6

    Speak God's name with reverence: “Some think it a mark of humility to pray to God in a common manner, as if talking with a human being. They profane His name by needlessly and irreverently mingling with their prayers the words ‘God Almighty,’—awful, sacred words, which should never pass the lips except in subdued tones and with a feeling of awe.”—Gospel Workers, 176CWG 76.7

    Use simple language: “High-flown language is inappropriate in prayer, whether the petition be offered in the pulpit, in the family circle, or in secret. Especially should the one offering public prayer use simple language, that others may understand what is said and unite with the petition.CWG 77.1

    “It is the heartfelt prayer of faith that is heard in heaven and answered on earth....CWG 77.2

    “With simplicity we should state our needs to the Lord, and claim His promise with such faith that those in the congregation will know that we have learned to prevail with God in prayer.”—Gospel Workers, 177CWG 77.3

    Substance of our prayers: “In our devotional meetings, our voices should express by prayer and praise our adoration of the heavenly Father, that all may know that we worship God in simplicity and truth, and in the beauty of holiness.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 245CWG 77.4

    “We should not come to the house of God to pray for our families unless deep feeling shall lead us while the Spirit of God is convicting them. Generally, the proper place to pray for our families is at the family altar.... When in the house of God, we should pray for a present blessing, and should expect God to hear and answer our prayers.”—Testimonies For The Church 1:145, 146CWG 77.5

    Length: “The prayers offered in public should be short and to the point....CWG 77.6

    “A few minutes is long enough for any ordinary public petition.”—Gospel Workers, 175CWG 77.7


    Reverence in God's sanctuary is almost a forgotten art in some of our churches. Talking about anything and loud greetings, whispering during the sermon, disturbs those who would like to pray, meditate or listen.CWG 77.8

    The sanctuary is a sacred place. We have invited the Trinity to be there, and They do come. God has promised that wherever two or three gather together in His name He is there.CWG 77.9

    In the reverent, quiet, spiritual atmosphere of the sanctuary, sensing God's presence, with earnest, heartfelt, short and to the point public prayers, let us petition our prayer-hearing prayer-answering and miracle-working God.CWG 77.10

    Father, help us to live so close to you that our reverent prayers in secret or in public may be acceptable to you.CWG 77.11

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