The typical thought crosses the consciousness of people when they hear the term ‘Christian’ is someone that gets up Sunday morning, prepares and then goes to a church and worships.
This loose definition is common but so far from the truth.
The Christian in a close relationship with their Lord, will attend the gathering of fellow Christians together for worship and prayer. After that this description breaks down terribly.
I carved out a caveat in the statement above.
There are those who make a habit of going to church on Sunday mornings. There is no intent for pray and worship in their minds, it isn‘t a thought for them. However, they get up, get ready, and go to church. Afterwards they leave and feel like they have done their due diligence and they may go about the rest of their week as they wish.
Not what God has in mind
This is far from what God has in mind for those who are faithful to Him.
The term Christian has suffered tremendous damage over the years. It has been misconstrued in so many ways and watered down at every turn.
Out of curiosity I typed into my search engine “What does Christian mean”. The results were shocking, but I imagine it fits with the world’s view on Christians.
- Relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings.
- A person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity.
In ‘Christian’ circles the definition has a considerably different meaning and context.
A Christian is one who emulates Christ Jesus. I’ve even heard the term ‘little Christ’, though this really is another inaccuracy as our likeness to Jesus will not be fully accomplished until we have been given new bodies and live with him in eternity.
However, the term ‘little Christ’ gets us much closer to the essence of the proper designation of the term. The result would be more like this.
- Related to the adoption of the individual into the family of God, through grace.
- Having surrendered one’s self to Jesus.
- Discipleship of a person to Jesus Christ, becoming ‘Christlike’.
- One who has committed to the complete surrender of self to Jesus Christ, making Him Lord and Master of their life.
- A Disciple of Christ.
The Christians definition and the worlds do not correlate well at all.
Jesus is The Way
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 (CSB)
The life of a real Christian should be molded around Christ. The world would have you believe that a Christian is one who molds Christ around their lives. It’s not just different, the two are polar opposite concepts and in opposition to each other.
How does this relate to Prayer and Worship?
To get there, we have to established not just what a Christian is but how one becomes one. Then we have to understand what happens to us because of becoming a Christian.
Salvation by Grace:
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast
Ephesians 2:8-9 (CSB)
Grace through faith—What this means is that we have come to where we understand that we are sinners, born into sin, and sin because of our fleshly nature. There are a lot of ‘good’ sinners out there. Being good doesn’t make us righteous, it only makes us not as bad as someone who isn’t good.
It is shocking when you ask people if they think they go to heaven when they die. If they admit that they feel they will go to heaven when they die, most of them will also in a follow-up question of ‘why?’ respond with the statement they are a good person or list the good things they can attribute to their lives. This would include attending church for many of them.
Shocking because most of these would tell you in an additional follow question of ‘are you then a Christian?’, yes!
Salvation, the passport to heaven, the redemption of our souls that adorns us with the righteousness of Jesus Christ doesn’t happen when we opt to be good. We likely will improve our behavior as a result of becoming a follower of Jesus, but that goodness is consequential, not a predicate.
Jesus takes us as we are, we only have to invest our faith and trust in Him for what He’s already accomplished by paying our sin debt on the cross. When we surrender our lives to Him and dedicate ourselves to the life changing decision to follow Him making Him Lord and Master of our lives, something happens to us.
Living In us:
The Holy Spirit is given to the new believer to live in and direct their lives.
Remember this is something we continue to have freewill over. Having God’s Spirit living in us doesn’t mean we become possessed as a daemon might possess someone. God living in us, establishes the closest possible relationship we can have with God right now and every true Christian has His Spirit living in them.
The real issue is how they treat that presence in their lives.
Do they ignore it? There is far too much of that going on. Or do they acknowledge the presence of God in their life and give Him the respect and honor He is deserving of?
There are even those who will render control to the Spirit long enough to get them out or through a tough spot in their lives then take back the control so they can do whatever they choose to do.
What they choose may not be considered bad by any standard. It only becomes bad because of the failure to follow through on that commitment we made when we surrendered to Jesus our lives.
The real question at that point is did they really surrender, or did they enter the bargain intending to breach it?
Prayer & Worship
Now we come to it.
Worship is when we give the proper respect and honor to God. We recognize Him for who He is and what He’s done for us. It’s not sitting in a pew at church, singing songs, and listening to a sermon.
It is that follow through of our commitment to Him which results in our devotion entrusted to Him and the purpose He dictates in our lives.
Prayer is as simple as carrying on a conversation with God’s Spirit living in us.
When that conversation is properly aligned, we are as a matter of fact worshiping. We acknowledge God for who God is. We recognize who we are in relation to God and as we share with His Spirit in us, we are fully aware of what He is doing for us every second of every day.
So, Prayer and Worship can be accomplished anywhere and everywhere, and should be.
Not just Sunday mornings at church.