CLARK E. WADE's picture

I have kept several journals over the years. One of my journals is just filled with scripture. Some of my other journals are filled with significant quotes from other authors I was reading. So, I'm sitting on these journals and thinking it might be a good thing to enter some of these prayers, scriptures, and quotes for your edification and considerations. I think you'll enjoy these. And if you would also like to contribute such quotes yourself, by all means, join in.

"LORD, take my lips and speak through them; take my mind and think through it; take my heart and set it on fire!" W.H.H. Aitken

Your brother in Christ,


CLARK E. WADE's picture

12/05/09 PRAYER AND WORSHIP by Art Katz

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently stay yourself upon Him...Psalms 37:7

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation..my soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him, for my hope and expectation are from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation. He is my defense and my fortress; I shall not be moved. Psalms 62:1, 5-6

My brother Ron Kellington sent this to me, so thank you brother.

I think brother Art has said something here that may be useful for us in understanding what it is to "wait on God." Jesus said that "whenever two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst." What a glorious promise this is! Jesus seems to be saying to us that His "actual presence" in our gatherings is the central thing, the very thing that defines what it means to gather together in His name.

Prayer and Worship by Art Katz

“Prayer and Worship”
by Art Katz (chapter from the book 'True Fellowship')

The assembling of the saints is so much more than merely coming together for a meeting, and needs to be seen, and better understood, as existential participation in the drama and dynamic of the life of the fellowship. It must, therefore, have its beginnings in the most deadly silence, where nobody knows how to begin. To have a paid minister "do it" for us is also a distortion of true fellowship. Overhead projectors, pre-determined and practiced choruses, and other techniques designed to prod the people into worship are incompatible with the freedom of the Holy Spirit. The life of God can only flow when the Spirit moves, and when we are obedient to be yielded to that Spirit. To what degree have we been schooled in the utilitarian world to look upon that as a waste? We want to come into church by 10:00 a.m. and be out by 12:30 p.m. It is a beautiful day, and we want to be out on the golf course; but the Body of Christ cannot be dealt with like that.

We had prayer meetings for ten years in the first Ben Israel community, and there were occasions when those meetings were agonizing and painful. We sat and looked at each other in a room face to face in silence. Everything in us was itching for something to be said. Nobody had a prayer, nobody had a word, nobody had a thought, and we waited and we waited and we waited. As mentioned earlier, our eyes and ears, being senses, desire so much to be gratified with something to see, something to hear; we want something to speak; we want to do. But silence is death to the senses, and asserts the primacy of the rule of God over our senses, which want to have an independent existence from Him. Waiting is a form of dying, and we could have alleviated that uneasiness; we were clever enough; we could have said something, or broken into a chorus. It was a suffering until someone finally prayed something, or said something, but the sessions that began in that kind of painful death frequently, if not invariably, ended in glory.

Authentic prayer, and even authentic praise and worship are themselves a "re-enactment" of the Cross. That re-enactment is our willingness to forsake and put aside human confidence and dependence, and come trembling and dependent upon God, willing to experience the foolishness of weakness. Are our prayers of the mere safe and timid kind? Are our prayers conventional and respectable? Are they "our" prayers, that we conceive in our own minds? Or are they God's prayers? Have we ever let go of the one in order to obtain the other? It is a fearful proposition to die to our own prayers. We will never know what form our prayer will take, or what its content will be, if we move from the one reality to the other. And even if we begin a prayer, will we be able to end it? And how will it sound? Will it embarrass us? Will it confuse those who hear it? There are many forms of suffering unto humiliation and death. Martyrdom is the easy when it comes as a final moment, but the truth of the Cross for the Church is the daily dying. This is what terrifies us failure, humiliation, and what men will think. We are afraid to take the risks of faith, lest we fail. Failure is death; humiliation is death, but in the Kingdom of God, it is the way of life.

If this dynamic of reality, centered in the Cross, has apprehended us, our prayers would be of another kind altogether. They would terrify the powers of darkness; they would be prayers that would even astonish us. No more would we insist upon our own agenda and the correctness of our own prayers. Are we willing to let go and let God be our source of prayer? It is a daily dying, and when we do die to ourselves, and are willing to risk embarrassment and failure, the life of God has its expression.

Every member should have a sense of his or her vital significance and importance. We need, therefore, to prepare ourselves for the coming together of the saints. We should not go directly from the television set to the prayer meeting. It is a holy coming together for the Lord's use of us, and we should expect that. Then, what begins in awkwardness and silence becomes unspeakably rich. Each one is obedient to express a word, or quote a Scripture, or sing a hymn, or to give a prophecy. It becomes a statement of God's very heart; but it requires every part to be expressed, or we would not have the whole thing.

The quality and authenticity of our corporate prayer cannot exceed the quality and authenticity of our relationships in our life together. In other words, true prayer is relative to the quality and the truth of the corporate life together. Prayer is not the issue of virtuosity or skill; it is the statement of the truth of the corporate life. Are we in a place of union and identification with the Lord together, or are we disjointed and isolated individual entities, who have not a significant and authentic reality in relationship among ourselves? There is a Cross, which has a horizontal member and a vertical member, and they both must be authentic.

We delude ourselves to think that we can have a vertical relationship to God and some kind of solo, "lost in God" feeling, and still be forgetful of our neighbor. The safest way to measure our spirituality and relationship to God is not by our euphoric "lostness" in the "heavenlies," but with that flesh-and-blood thing right next to us our neighbor.

There is a place for private, or personal, prayer, but not in a corporate setting. True corporate prayer is the issue of corporate life, and it is only this kind of prayer that does business with the principalities and the powers of the air over our communities and nations. That kind of prayer can only be, and must be, corporate. The one thing that the powers of darkness are required to acknowledge is authenticity the thing that is real.

There is too much unreality in prayer and praise, especially when emphasis is put on musical ability, electronic technology, and worship leaders. True praise is the spontaneous expression of the redemptive work of God in the life of the believers, personally and corporately, that finds expression involuntarily. That is authentic, and when the powers of the air hear that, they are required to flee. Our worship will never exceed the quality of our relationships. We can turn up the amplifiers all we want and create an euphoric musical atmosphere and yet be deceived. Worship is more than singing. The heart of worship is sacrifice, and there is nothing more sacrificial than the loss of our privacy and our individualism and the kinds of things that we experience if we give ourselves in earnest relationship one to another.

Community, as I have said before, is the intensification of all of life, and brings to the surface things that would otherwise have gone undetected because of that intensity. Life together compels recognition and dealing, which is to say, suffering, but it is out of that grit that the possibility is opened for reality and the glory and grace of God. Worship is the spontaneous overflow of joy and praise to God for the depth and the truth of His sanctifying work that has come through struggle and suffering together. And any praise that is praise indeed has got to be an unconscious, unpremeditated and unorchestrated expression of a reality that has come corporately through suffering, by people who are together long enough and intensely enough to obtain it.