worship

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Fasting by itself is no magic answer to our problems. R.T. Kendall offers seven practical tips to get the most spiritual benefit out of fasting.

fasting

What Type of Fast Are You On This New Year?

Did you know the duration of a fast often has a lot to do with what a person is facing? Discover why Moses, Joshua, Paul and others fasted the way they did.

Depressed woman

6 Strategies to Defeat the Joy Thief

Many Christians are laying along the roadside of life devastated, because they have not learned how to deal with the problem of disappointment, says Joyce Meyers.

Spiritual warfare

Armed With His Might

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Man praying.

What the Spirit Is Saying

When God speaks there is always prophetic consensus. Here are a few things many believe He is saying to today's Church.

Garden Tomb

Making a Case for the Garden Tomb

While Catholics flock to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, many Protestants embrace the Garden Tomb as the equally legitimate site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial. Here’s why they’re right to do so.

The Benefits of True Worship

The benefits that spring from true worship go beyond just experiencing God through music. For one, it opens people’s hearts to hear the Word of God. “Scripture says Judah plowed the fallow ground,” says Robert Morris, senior pastor of Gateway Church. “Judah means ‘praise.’ After we’ve been in worship, my job is simply to get up and just drop the seed in prepared soil.”

“We believe that half of the gospel is preached before the sermon even starts,” Haas says. As a result, he puts a heavy emphasis on lyrics. “Like Wesley thought, theology can be taught through worship music. So we are wary of doing too many songs that lack theological substance.”

Brian Johnson, worship pastor at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif., and vice president of the new record label Bethel Music, is a proponent of prophetic worship. In recent years, he believes many churches have been turned off by this term because “it feels like it’s rambling and nonsense where nobody knows what is happening.” But he believes worship pastors should tastefully experiment with it. 

“Sometimes I’ll be leading worship and will feel like God wants to release hope in the room, for example,” he shares. “We’ll just let the instruments play, I’ll back off the mic and come up with a little chorus. As people are singing that melody, they are actually singing themselves out of that situation of depression, or whatever it is. 

“I believe we should be singing prophetic declarations over our churches, over our lives,” he says. “We should be singing what we want to see God do in five years—it will bear great fruit in our lives.” 

Finally, a byproduct of true worship is that it often leads unbelievers to Christ. “I think many people feel that if you have interactive worship, a lost person might feel left out,” Morris says. “I think worship is one of the best things a church can do for evangelism. Worship is actually what brings people to Christ.”

Today, it’s imperative for worship pastors and believers to set a new standard if the church is going to be known for true worship, rather than just quality entertainment. 

“I long to see a body of Christ that recognizes its role as worshippers,” says Walker-Smith. “I want to see a standard that is unwavering in its devotion to God’s presence and seeks Him above all else.” 


Carol Chapman Stertzer, a freelance journalist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, is thankful for the Scripture songs she learned as a child.

Hand-raised

7 Benefits of Tongues

Ever wonder why having a prayer language is important? Here are good reasons to use one.

Helping Soldiers Find Solace

As President Barack Obama pledged the country's continued support to American troops yesterday, charismatic Vietnam veteran Dave Roever continues his mission to help wounded warriors find mental and spiritual solace.  

'Spider-Man' Swings With Amazing Effects And Action

"With great power comes great responsibility" was the memorable quote from Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man in 2002, which helped propel a film franchise into the box-office stratosphere and launched a plethora of comic book blockbusters.

Arriving only five years after Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man doesn't feature a similar memorable quote, but it's probably safe to say this about Sony's reboot of the Marvel Comics' superhero: "With great special effects and action plus strong character development comes great response at the box office."

Independent filmmaker Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) takes over for Raimi and a Brit who's never been in an action movie before (Andrew Garfield, The Social Network) takes the reins from Tobey Maguire as the wisecracking, web-swinging teenager Peter Parker. Also, blond-haired Gwen Stacy (Garfield's real-life girlfriend, Emma Stone, The Help) is Spidey's love interest—not the fiery red-head Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst).

Webb's film makes deliberate departures from Raimi's original, focusing heavily on the hero's high-school life as a skateboard-riding outsider and expanding on Peter's quest to understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His search puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner whose evil alter-ego, the Lizard, becomes Spider-Man's nemesis.

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