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Mackenzie Beckworth shares growth through prayer, praise

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

As we worship, our perspectives change and our motivations are realigned with God’s.

These days, people are hungry to experience the presence of God. People pack into concerts, drive from miles away and cram their playlists with joyful praises to encounter God in worship. Elevation Worship, Jesus Culture and Bethel Music, the list of popular worship music could go on and on.

To worship God is your own personal choice, but during participation, the worshipper allows the Holy Spirit to move within their heart. The power expressed by praise clears your mind of the fog of the world. Circumstances often can fill our minds with clutter and noise, along with pressures, conflicts and trends.

So what is worship? It can be as simple as just being grateful for blessings, family and friends. Learning how to kneel down, lay everything at the creator’s feet and humbly give thanks even when I didn’t feel like it, actually made me stronger. Instead of looking at myself, my own insecurities and problems, I chose to focus my vision on the One who ultimately makes us stronger.

Worship helps me to grow more mature in the ways of God, and it stretches me when I don’t feel like worshipping or praying.

Bible teacher and vice principal Scott Falk, believes that in order to have a lasting relationship with God, you must spend time with Him and praise Him everyday.

“Worship is our response to God,” Falk said. “When we become aware of Him and His working in our lives and in the world, we respond by giving thanks and offering ourselves to Him. Our relationship to God is a two-way thing, like any relationship. If we want to have a relationship, maintain the relationship, or grow in a relationship, it requires participation on our part. That’s what worship really is.”

The following podcast furthers Falk’s thoughts about the power of worship.

Because emotions run the lives of many Christians, we are tricked into thinking that God isn’t worthy when our feelings don’t line up, that we have to get it our life together before we approach His throne.

In addition, the enemy is the author of confusion and looks to invade our thought life with seeds of inferiority, self-doubt and all kinds of fear. Our heads can get crowded, noisy and weighed down.

Running a Bible study on Fridays and attending Peoples Church youth group every Wednesday night, Hunter Raynes, ’21, believes that worshipping the Lord here on earth is practice for eternity.

“Worshipping the Lord to me is spending time with Him and just absorbing His Presence,” Raynes said. “Letting the Holy Spirit fill me up and draw me closer is the reason why I do praise Him. Worship is honestly vital for our relationship with Him because our worship here on the earth is practice for what we will be doing in eternity. If we don’t know how to worship here, how will we worship up there?”

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

Journalist Mackenzie Beckworth, ’21

In order to understand more about the power of worship, let’s go back to the first parts of Genesis, because that was a literal time when Adam and Eve walked with God. It doesn’t say how long they did, but they did for some time.

Imagine for a second, just walking with the Lord. I don’t doubt that the two would just spill over with adoration and praise over Him every second as they were in the Garden.

God’s original plan for Adam, Eve and the rest of humanity was to keep us close to Him. He is a God of intimacy, it’s why He created us. To stay close and to have a loving relationship with us was His desire. But when Eve ate the fruit, it threw everything off. Sin entered our hearts and we were never the same.

Ever since that day, God has been trying to reconnect with the human race. Our job is to return to Him. To turn off the TV, shut down social media, to remove every single distraction, so we are able to spend time with Him.

The more we do this, the more He causes us to shine. The current of God’s power flowing through us as we lift our hands and sing to God is one that neither the enemy or self-defeating thoughts can withstand.

When we make worship a lifestyle instead of a time period, that’s when your relationship with Him grows more intimate and your heart becomes more like His, which is our ultimate goal in this life.

A leading example to many on campus and who also sings on the worship team, Macie Thompson, ’19, believes that worshipping God means to honor Him with everything we do.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

For 25 years, See You At The Pole promotes times of worship and prayer.

“Worshiping God is such an amazing thing because you make yourself vulnerable to all of the things you are scared of, so that you can let our King into our hearts,” Thompson said. “It makes your relationship with Christ just that much more powerful and it bonds you closer to Him. In my own walk worship is such a big part of my life because I get to lead people into the presence of our Savior.

“Everybody on stage was placed there to try and set a tone of what worship looks like,” Thompson continued. “Worship is one of the most powerful things ever, and for me in my own faith it allows me to be as crazy and in love as I want with Him.”

The Hebrew word for praise is halal, which simply means to praise with a loud voice. It also means to cause to shine.

As David wrote in Psalms 145:3-7, our most basic reason for our praise to God is because He is worthy to be praised. As we do, we are throwing the spotlight of our attention and affection on God.

Worshipping Jesus gives perspective and purpose. It is so easy to become self-centered in today’s culture.

But when we choose to proclaim His praises despite our tendencies to abuse God’s gifts, the power of God’s presence helps us readjust our motivations. The impact of praise and worship refreshes us, making us light on our feet and clear in our minds.

Worship changes our perspective and causes us to take our eyes off of ourselves and instead onto the Lord.

For more columns, check out Holiday Magic Studios features innovative, unique Christmas opportunity and COLUMN: From The Principal’s Desk – December 2018.

Mackenzie Beckworth can be reached via Twitter  and via email.

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