1 Ministering to the Lord
In this study, I want to share with you about the importance of ministering to the Lord. As important that ministering to people is, our highest calling is to minister to the Lord. We read in the book of Acts, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”(1) The greatest missionary movement in the world was as a result of a small group of people ministering to the Lord. (1) Acts 13:2
To minister to the Lord, means to draw near to God, to worship Him and to bring Him joy and pleasure.This was the reason why God created man. We read in the book of Revelations, in the King James Version that “for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (2)God created us so that He could enjoy us! God also created us to love us and to receive love from us, because God is love. In Genesis we read that God used to walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. (3) He did so because He enjoyed spending time with them. In the New Testament, we read that all things were made for Jesus and by Jesus.(4)We were created for Him! (2) Revelations 4:11, (3) Genesis 3:8, (4) Colossians 1:16
In the Book of Ezekiel, we read about two groups of priests. The first groupwas the Levites. It says, “… and they (The Levites) shall stand before them (the people), to minister unto them because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity … And they shall not come near unto me …”(5)They lost the privilege of drawing near to God because their hearts turned away from God when the Children of Israel turned to idols. However, they were allowed to continue to minister to the people. (5) Ezekiel 44:11-13
The second groupwas the sons of Zadok, which was a clan within the tribe of Levi. We read, “But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fatand the blood, says the Lord GOD: They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge.”(6) Ezekiel 44:15-16
It says that they shall come near to God to minister to Him. Therefore, to minister to God is to draw near to Him and to stand before Him in worship and praise. They were to offer the fat and the blood. The blood speaks about the blood of Jesus, and that through the shedding of His Blood we can come into His presence. (7) The fat speaks about giving God the very best that we have. We read how Abel brought the “firstlings of the flock and the fatthereofand God accepted his offering.” (8) He gave God his very best. When ministering to the Lord and drawing near to God is our highest priority, then we are bringing to Him the “blood and the fat.” Food cooked with fat is usually tasty; therefore, when we minister to the Lord, we are giving Him something that is very tasty! Our goal is to bless Him and give Him pleasure. (7) Hebrews 10:19 (8) Genesis 4:4
We read about Paul and Silas in prison in the book of Acts. We know what happened, at midnight they praised the Lord, God sent an earthquake, their chains fell off and the prison doors were opened. There were other wonderful miracles that took place that night, but what is really amazing is that they and the other prisoners remained in the prison and did not flee. This tells us that their motive for singing praises was not to receive something from God, but to minister to Him because they loved Him. They had no other agenda!
However, God, being who He is, has a great heart to bless us and will always give us more than He receives. Therefore, there are many wonderful things that can happen to us when we minister to Him:
Firstly, we become like the one whom we worship. For example, if we worship some celebrity or sports star, we will eventually begin to act like them. The more we worship God, the more we will begin to act like Him and become more like Jesus. Paul writes the following, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord (through worship), are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (9) The quickest way to grow and mature spiritually is to worship God! (9) 2 Corinthians 3:18
Secondly, when we minister to the Lord, we will find that it becomes easier to minister to people. We read about the sons of Zadok, “…they shall not gird themselves with anything that causes sweat.”(10) They did not sweat!When we minister to the Lord, we will not sweat, it will be easy to serve and follow Jesus! Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (10) Ezekiel 44:18
Many years ago I wanted to start a mission’s organization in a certain city in Africa, where I worked as a civil engineer. I rented a building but I found it difficult to get others to join my vision. I then read in Acts how the Holy Spirit spoke to Paul and Barnabas after they had fasted and ministered to the Lord. I decided to do the same, believing that the Holy Spirit would also speak to me. Therefore, each day after work, I would go to this building to do just that.
At first I would spend time in praise, worship and thanksgiving. I then learnt how to minister to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit separately. I would minister to the Father with thanksgiving and praise. I then began to declare His wonderful attributes. For example, His goodness, kindness, love, compassion, faithfulness, patience and forgiveness, etc. I imagined myself as a waiter in a restaurant, feeding the Father with wonderful words from the Bible. As I did this, I often experienced His wonderful presence and I could sense His pleasure.
I did the same for Jesus. I would first thank Him for what He did on the cross for me and then worship and praise Him for who He is today. For example, He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Lamb upon the throne, etc. I would then tell Him how much I loved Him and would express my desire to please and follow Him. I then would minister to the Holy Spirit by thanking Him for who He is and what He does for me. For example, He dwells in me, He inspires me, He sanctifies me, He fills us with joy and peace, He empowers me, leads me, comforts me, etc. After I ministered to the Lord this way, I would then would then bring my requests to the Lord.
I did this for quite a considerable time. At first nothing seemed to happen, but one day, thirty-four people from fourteen different countries walked into the building and said that they wanted to be part of the vision. My dream had come true with no sweat! After that, doors began to open for us to minister in the university, the training college, the police academy and in a number of churches.
Many accepted Christ and we saw many miracles. We had the privilege of leading more than a hundred police recruits to the Lord and discipling them. After this we started a weekly prayer meeting for the nation on a nearby mountain overlooking the city. The prayer meeting continued for a number of years, even after we left the country. Out of this prayer meeting, came those who supported us as missionaries, which led us eventually to live in Russia.
I once heard a testimony of a youth leader who took a group of young people on a mission to Hong Kong. At first it was very difficult for them to find affordable accommodation. They decided not to only pray about this need, but to spend more time just worshiping the Lord. After doing this for a while, they one day received a phone call for the mayor of the city who offered them an old hospital building with 28 rooms. He told them that they could rent this building for just one dollar a month. Without any sweat, they had the accommodation that they needed.
Thirdly, ministering to the Lord can make us sensitive to the leading and the voice of the Holy Spirit. In Acts it says “as they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said…” (1)It enabled them to hear what the Holy Spirit wanted them to do. God often speaks to us when we minister to Him. This is one of the ways we can find our destiny and calling. The greatest missionary movement was started after a small group of people ministered to the Lord. We have a similar example in the Old Testament with Samuel. (11)It says that he ministered to the Lord as a young child and soon after that God spoke to him and told him about what was going to happen to Eli the priest and the nation of Israel. (1) Acts 13:2, (11) 1 Samuel 3:1 and 4
Finally, there are many other benefits when we minister to the Lord. It will increase our level of anointing in our lives. As we minister to Him, He in turn will minister to us and we will experience a divine flow of the Holy Spirit. Ministering to the Lord is also enjoyable and enables us to be aware of the goodness and the love of God.
Since I have made this a regular practice in my life, I have become so much more aware of the love of the Father for me. The greatest blessing of all is that, when we minister to the Lord, it blesses and gives Him great delight and joy. The final question we need to ask is how do we minister to the Lord? I have already shared my experience.
We can minister to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit separately. We can thank God for who He is and what He has done and doing for us. We can praise and worship Him with songs. We can sing in the Spirit. We can declare His wonderful attributes.
When it comes to Jesus, we can thank Him for what He did at the cross for us. We can praise His Him for who He is and His exalted position in heaven. He is the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the glorious risen Christ, the One to whom all knees shall bow and all tongues confess that He is Lord. We can express our love and adoration for Him. We can also worship Him in the Spirit.
When it comes to the Holy Spirit, we can thank Him for His wonderful functions. He fills us, inspires us, empowers us, teaches us, sanctifies us, fills us with abounding hope, imparts to us righteousness peace and joy, etc. We can yield our lives to Him and ask Him to fill us with His power and love. (I have attached a short declaration that will enable you to minister to the Lord) There any many ways we can minister to the Lord. My wife and I have been doing this regularly for more than twenty years and we have seen such amazing results. There is no set formula, so the best is just to open our hearts to the Lord and let the Holy Spirit lead us. It is great to do it in a group and with music. However, I have discovered that the highest level of blessing comes when I do it alone and without any musical accompaniment.
It is important that we minister to the Lord by faith, even if we do not feel His presence. Remember, we are doing this for Him! Our one and only goal, is to do something for Him and to bless Him. After we minister to the Lord we can pray and bring our requests before the Lord. In Psalms it says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”(12)I have noticed that when I minister to the Lord, He often does things for me without me even having to pray about it. It also becomes easier to pray after I have ministered to the Lord. Therefore, may God bless you, as you make this the high priority in your life. Amen. (12) Psalm 37:4
Crafted prayers to minister to the Lord
Ministry to the Father:
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I come to worship You, to praise You and to adore You. You are an awesome God who is glorious in holiness and fearful in praises, a God who does wonders. (Exodus 15:11). You are wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance, (Isaiah 28:29)I honor You and worship You.
Thank You for Your wonderful attributes. You abound towards me in goodness and truth; You are merciful and gracious forgiving and longsuffering (Exodus 34:6). I thank You, are very, very kind. (Joel 2:13). You are a God of love who is full of compassion, tenderhearted (Psalms 145:8-9) and You care for me (1 Peter 5:7)I declare that You are a faithful God whose mercies are new to me, every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)Above all, I want to thank You that You are My Heavenly Father, You have adopted me into Your family, and that I am Your child. (1 John 3:1)
Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to die on the cross for me. (John 3:16)You are the God of hope who fills me with all joy and peace, (Romans 15:13) and You have a wonderful plan for my life.
Finally, I put my trust in You, and I believe in You. You are my dear Heavenly Father, and I love You with all my heart and want to please You in all I that I do. Amen
Ministry to Jesus:
Dear Lord Jesus, I want to thank you that You loved me so much, that You laid down Your life and died on the cross for me. Thank you for redeeming me and giving me the gift of eternal life. Jesus, You are my Lord and my Savior, my hope of eternal life.
I declare that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and is seated in heavenly places, at the right hand of God the Father, far above all principality and power and every name that is named. (Ephesians 1:18). He is highly exalted and has a name above all names, to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. (Philippians 2:9-10) He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, (1 Timothy 6:15) the “Alpha and Omega,” (Revelations 1:8) the Lamb upon the throne and the glorious and the mighty Son of God.
You have destroyed all principalities and powers, (Colossians 2:13)and him who had power over death, the devil. (Hebrews 2:14) You now have the keys of hell and death (Revelations 1:18) and all authority in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18
Jesus, You are the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) You are the “bread of life,” who satisfies the hunger of my heart (John 6:35) and You are the “giver of living water” which quenches the thirsting of my soul. (John 4:14). You are my righteousness, my holiness, my wisdom and my redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) You are my peace, my joy, my healing and health. You are everything I need (Colossians 2:10)
You are worthy, to receive all honor, all praise, all glory, all dominion, all power and all the blessings and riches. (Revelations 5:12) Jesus, You are wonderful, (Isaiah 9:6) precious, (1 Peter 2:6)and altogether lovely. (Song 5:16) You are the love of my life, the desire of my heart. I adore You and love You with all my heart and I want to follow You and please You in everything I do. Amen
Ministry to the Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit, You are the glorious and mighty God who lives in me and who is with me. (John 14:17) You are the Witness in me that I am a child of God and have received the gift of eternal life (Romans 8:16, Ephesians 1:13)Thank You, precious Holy Spirit for Your wonderful presence and anointing. You inspire me and show me the wonderful things that have been given to me. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
Thank you for Your power and the ability to tell others about Jesus and to do His wonderful works. (Acts 1:8, Romans 15:19) Holy Spirit, You give me the grace to overcome the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16) and victory over the works of the devil. (1 John 4:4)
You enable me to have a relationship with the Father and the Son and to glorify Jesus. (John 16:13-15, Ephesians 2:18) You guide me into all truth, You comfort me, You teach me, You convict me and You lead me. (Galatians 5:18)
My body is Your temple, (1 Corinthians 6:19)I am not my own, I belong to you. Come and fill me, sanctify me (Romans 15:16)and change me to become more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Holy Spirit, thank you for Your love, Your faithfulness and Your commitment to me. I love You, appreciate You and I will always depend on You. I yield my life to You and ask you to fill me with Your presence, You power, Your gifts and Your love, in Jesus name. Amen.