Praise and Worship that Draws God's Presence

Intimacy with God through Praise and Worship

The year was 1993 and I went to a Christian bookstore to purchase a CD. Whenever I had a few extra dollars, I bought new music. As I started browsing around the store, I was drawn to the praise and worship section. Some people might ask where else I would look, but at the time, I didn't care for praise and worship music. I liked it in church, but not on my own time. To me, church music was just that. It belonged in church, not in my car as I cruised to work or traveled through town. I liked Urban and R&B, and that's what I listened to.

On this particular day, I picked up a Vineyard CD and put on the headphones. I still remember the song that played. As I listened, I heard words that expressed my inmost feelings for God, even though I had not been aware of them before. Tears began to flow, my heart rejoiced and a deep yearning arose in my soul. What was this? I wondered. I hadn't gone in the store to hear that music, let alone be touched by it. All I wanted was to buy some cool Christian tunes. Instead, I had an encounter with God. That was the turning point. From then on I pursued the presence of God through praise and worship music, in and out of church.

I've learned a few things since then. John 4:24 says that God is seeking true worshipers. Hebrews 10:21,22 says, "And having a High Priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart."

Worship is truly about the heart, although I realize that there are degrees of intimacy. Have you ever prayed and felt like something was missing? Or have you had times of intimacy with Him, when God showed up and you never wanted it to end? I have those kinds experiences often and believe that every Christian should have the opportunity to interact with God in deep and meaningful ways. The following are a few ways you can enhance your experiences with God:

Consecrate Your Time
True intimacy requires time. One reason worship is not more meaningful is because people are always in a rush. So begin to consecrate your time, every day. True spirituality begins with natural practicality, so set aside a specific time each morning, or each afternoon or each evening. In other words, set up a daily consecration of time.

Set up an Altar
Where's your altar? Jesus said that when you go into your room or closet, you should shut the door. Today, it's not only important to shut yourself off from the rest of the world, but it's necessary to do away with other distractions and interruptions such as phones, television and even people.

The Father is seeking true worshipers who will give Him their undivided attention. Dedicate a certain section of your house to Him and go to meet Him there every day. You'll find that he'll be waiting there for you.

Hunger for His Presence
In John 4:24, we see that God is seeking true worshipers. But perhaps more than anything else, He's looking for hunger. There is something about spiritual hunger that draws God's presence. Spiritual hunger is a response to the work of the Holy Spirit. If you are hungry for God it's because His Spirit is working on you. John 6:44 says, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day." Songs 1:4 reads, "Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee". (KJV)

If you don't have a hunger for God, ask Him to give you one. Go into your place of prayer, shut the door, do away with interruptions and distractions, and ask the Holy Spirit to do its work. Then, begin to worship God by faith. Find some good worship music that touches your heart and put it on. If it touches your heart, it's because it touches His.

Written by: Pastor Paul Hamlett