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Open-Ended Worship

by Derek Prince

Editor’s Note: I am very fortunate to be a subscriber to GodTV hosted on our satellite. There have been so many programs, conferences and lecturers that have been a “now-word” for my life. I am particularly blessed to record Derek Prince’s weekly lectures. The following notes are from his 2-part series on “The Headship of Jesus” and builds on Acts 13. He emphasized that the growth of the Church recorded in Acts is a direct result from listening–and obeying–the Holy Spirit. 

Open-Ended Worship is being in the presence of God, worshipping Him and not setting a time limit. This isn’t like a prayer meeting where you have a start and finish time. It’s an “attitude” of worship, focusing on God, turning away from distractions and staying there until you hear from Him. “It is time to seek the Lord until He rains righteousness upon us,” The time limit is set by God’s sovereign action.

Mr. Prince calls Psalm 95 a “pattern psalm.” To Derek, this is how to hear from God:

A Call to Worship and Obedience

1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is the great God, And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:

Derek points out that we enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. [Psalm 100:4] Derek doesn’t believe we can get into His presence without thanksgiving and praise. He gave an example of the 10 lepers in Luke’s gospel who were healed. Only one returned to give thanks. The word for his healing was also “saved.” He had direct access to Jesus by giving thanks.

Why do we give thanks and praise? Verses 3 and 4!

I love what Derek says…

We thank God for His goodness,
We praise God for His greatness, but
We worship God for His holiness.

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised! Praise is our response to His greatness. Notice that the mood changes in verse 6 siince thanksgiving and praise have come first: “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

Every word in the Bible that describes worship is an attitude of the body. It’s bending the knee, other parts of the body bowing, bowing down, kneeling, or prostrating yourself before God. Worship is primarily an attitude and not an utterance. Praise is an utterance and leads us into worship.

For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.
Psalm 95:7

What is uniquely due to God that acknowledges Him? WORSHIP! When we worship Him, we are declaring that He is our God. Whatever you worship becomes your god. (ex. money, stomach)

Notice something very curious here… Verse 7 continues, BUT, it is a new paragraph… a new thought rather than a new verse. This emphasizes that it’s very important. ‘Today, if you will hear His voice:’

WHEN do you hear God’s voice? When you have been worshiping! As an aside, Derek shared that he never accepts prophecy or tongues and interpretation straight out. He always checks his spirit. But, if it comes during a period of worship, he feels you can be pretty sure it is from God. This is just a safeguard.

90% of the time when Derek and his wife, Ruth, get a word of direction, encouragement, or warning, they are in an attitude of worship. Generally, it’s not the first 1/2 hour! It’s open-ended. God is sovereign. Worship and hearing God is not like being on a time clock.