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Using Your Emotions in Worship and Prayer | The Importance of Using Emotions

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

What are Emotions?

Emotions are a mental state.

Emotions are natural instinctive states of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

Similar: feeling, sentiment, sensation, reaction, response, passion, intensity, warmth, fire, fieriness, excitement, spirit, soul

Opposite: coldness, indifference

Spiritual Emotions

Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience and that the greater whole of which we are part is divine. When I use the term spirituality, I am suggesting that spirituality is all about positive emotions. These emotions include love, hope, joy, forgiveness, compassion, trust, gratitude, and awe.

To love the Most High with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the most important commandment (Mark 12:30). We love Yah when we let him into our anger, happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, and surprise. We worship the Most High with our emotions when we cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Those who are in Christ are distinguished from unbelievers in that they have been gifted with the Holy Spirit, enabling them to bear fruit. These are also a part of the emotions.

What is the difference between feelings and emotions?

While emotions start as sensations in the body, feelings are generated from our thoughts about those emotions. Or in other words, feelings are how we interpret emotions and let them sink in. We use the word, "feel," for both physical and emotional states.

When the Most High speaks to us most of the time it is emotionally. The soul is where the emotions are and He wants us to love Him with All of our heart, mind, and soul. This also includes our will and emotions. We are supposed to cry out to him when we're feeling the urge. Yahshua, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Hezekiah, and Deborah are among many that use their emotions to cry out to the Father (wholeheartedly). Yahshua emotionally cried out to the father and said

Matt. 27 Verses 45 to 53

[45] Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. [46] And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

The New Testament

The New Testament features, in varying degrees of prominence, several attitudinal phenomena that in modern parlance would be called emotions and the practices in which emotions are expressed: joy and rejoicing, gratitude and thanksgiving, remorse (grief) or regret and repentance, compassion, anger, fear, sorrow.

We pray to the Most High with our emotions when we cooperate with the Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:3

He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the LORD's coming! Clear the road for him!'” The voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Matthew 27:46

About three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? '” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (ESV,

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.

And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Through our relationship with the Most High, we can develop a wholesome self-image. Will it come from what our emotions tell us about ourselves or from what the world tells us about ourselves? The world and the world of our emotions may tell us that we are shameful, guilty, unlovable, and worthless ( that's the enemy).

The Bible says that when we find our delight in Yah (God), he will give us everything our heart really wants. Our emotional needs for love, security, acceptance, and protection will be covered by Yah (God). That means our hearts will be satisfied and happy because of our relationship with him, leaving us freed up to care for other people.

To enjoy this kind of relationship with the Most High Yah (God), we have to learn how to experience Him emotionally. Delight is a feeling. Without emotion, our relationship with Yah (God) will become nothing more than a distant, empty tradition:

Yahshua (Jesus) had wanted some quiet time alone; but He had compassion on the hungry multitudes and so ministered to them (Mark 6:30-44). After hearing about the ruins of Jerusalem, Nehemiah turned his grief into action by initiating the rebuilding of the city’s wall (Nehemiah 1).

Moses prayed several times with emotions.

Jubilees 1 Deuteronomy 9 (19) Then Moses fell prostrate and prayed and said: “Lord my God, do not allow your people and your inheritance to go along in the error of their minds . . . (26) I prayed to the Lord and said: “Lord YHWH do not annihilate your people and your inheritance.

With the prospect of losing Yah's (God’s) presence fully in view, Moses throws himself before the Lord and pleads forYah (God) presence. Far more than the obligatory petition, he musters all the promises Yah (God) has made in the past, to recruit Yah (God) to rejoin their caravan. He pleads for Yah (God) presence, and he shows us how we ought to pray in the process. Exodus 33

Deborah was a worshiping warrior. She found encouragement and strength in worship to be obedient to everything the Lord was asking her to do. If Deborah had played small in her life, she would not have had all the experiences that led to her being used by the Lord to deliver Israel from bondage.

King David wrote many hymns and psalms in the Book of Psalms, about 73 out of the 150 books. Many of these prayers in the Bible that David wrote were personal and highly emotional.

The Bible tells us that David had a vow of praise unto the Lord. Seven times a day he would praise the Lord, and three times a day he would pray. The political class must have hated it.

Gideon is a guy in the Bible who was very fearful but found great emotional strength because he was willing to recognize and express his needs. JUDGES 6-8

King Hezekiah emotionally cried out to the Most High and he was blessed with an additional 7 years of life.

But what does the Most High say about us?

The Most High tells us that through our faith in Yahshua (Jesus), we are in Hamashiach (Christ), we are sons and daughters of the Most High, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we are considered the Most Highs special possession, and we are assured of future glory.

Faced with such an apparent contradiction, we must make a choice.

Will we believe what the Most High says or will we believe what others say or what our emotions say?

The Most High says He loves us, whether we feel it or not, and Yah (God) says He is near us even when He feels distant.

Sometimes we have to cry out to Him with our whole heart and not hold back. The is our emotions, he wants us to give him our burdens, feelings, and emotions.

Emotional honesty connects us with the Most High

The more honest I am with Yah (God), the more I will sense his presence and grace in my life:

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

Matthew 6:6

When I’m as honest as I can manage, my focus will shift from myself and my feelings to the Most High. The Bible tells me I’ll begin to sense his grace – his unmerited favor on my life. I’ll believe he cares about me, he forgives me, and my prayers matter to him.

Give the Most High Yah Your Emotions

How do I give Yah (God) my emotions? Confessing our feelings to Yah (God) is not a weakness. Instead, when we do so, we admit our need for Him and allow Him to be as honest with us as we are with Him. With that, we declare that Yah (God) is greater than the control our emotions have over us. And by allowing Yah (God) to be the strength in our weakness, we are glorifying the Most High Yah (God).

A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones. -Proverbs 14:30

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. -Matthew 6:6

To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, ‘You are my father.’ To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, ‘You are my mother.’ They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ [28] But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can! For you have as many gods as there are towns in Judah. -Jeremiah 2:27-28

“O my people, listen to the words of the LORD! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!’

[32] Does a young woman forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding dress? Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me. -Jeremiah 2:31-32

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. -Psalm 90:14

Ephesians 4:26-27. 26 “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

The Good News: When we're angry, we may do something we might regret later or act in a way that could hurt those around us. Wait until the anger dissipates before making a decision or taking action.

The Most High (God) gave humans emotions to prompt us to do something. And since God says that all of the commandments hang upon loving Yah (God) and loving others (Mat 22:37-39), I know that emotions help us live in healthy relationships and stay connected to Yah (God) and others

Emotions expressed in Psalm

Anger: “Be angry, and do not sin” (Psalms 4:4). Peace: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep” (Psalms 4:8). Grief: “My eye wastes away because of grief” (Psalms 6:7). Desire: “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted” (Psalms 10:17).

The more we believe what the Most High says about us the more emotional health and stability we will have.

Finally, through our relationship with Yah (God), and our obedience to Him, we will find joy. Happiness and joy are part of the blessing that comes from doing the will of the Most High Yah (God).

What are the emotions in Psalm 22?

So: in Psalm 22, the Psalmist looks and feels forsaken, but the result is salvation that leads to universal–including all nations and all generations–praise of Yah (God). The Psalmist cries out in anguish but the result of the cry of anguish is the reminder that God is faithful.

Shame is one of the first emotions mentioned in the Bible. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve never felt it even though they were naked. But after the Fall, shame becomes constant and unavoidable. It's experienced hundreds of times by major and minor biblical characters and sometimes collectively by entire peoples.

I believe these verses will help you to embrace and employ your emotions.

  • The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry for help…The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:15, 17-18)

  • When I became embittered and my innermost being was wounded, I was stupid and didn’t understand; I was an unthinking animal toward you. Yet I am always with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me up in glory. Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever… But as for me, God’s presence is my good. I have made the Lord God my refuge, so I can tell about all you do. (Psalm 73:21-26, 28)

  • Why am I so overwrought? Why am I so disturbed? Why can’t I just hope in God? Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One who saves me and is my life.-Psalm 42:5


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