What is Worship?

What exactly is worship and how does it connect us to God? Is there a wrong way to worship vs a right way?

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That’s a good question. I’ve heard a minister say the word worship could be divided into two works ‘worth ship’ as an easy way to see that worship is assigning or acknowledging the worth or high status of God whom we worship.

It would have been quite a change for new Jewish Christians to get used to the idea that they could worship anywhere: compared to the temple system where you needed to go to a location in order to offer sacrifice and worship. I’m just remembering the encounter Jesus had with the woman of Samaria at the well.

She asked Jesus where was the proper place to worship : Jerusalem (for the Jews), or Mount Gerizim for the Samaritans. John 4.

What prompted you to ask the question ? Are you interested in our attitude during worship, whether a certain style of worship is better or just different depending on different denomination, or have you thought about how different cultures worship differently…?

I come from a quite conservative background and prefer a quieter meditative style, but I have to make sure I don’t switch off and my mind wanders to other things. I also do enjoy visiting churches with more contemporary worship services quite often also.

What thoughts have you had regarding this area ? Do you have any articles you’ve read that you enjoyed and meant something to you ?

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Hi, @Luna!
This is a really good question to reflect on on a Sunday evening! :slight_smile: I’ve had to learn over the last couple of years how to explain my former role as Music and Worship leader at my church to people unfamiliar with what actually happens at church, particularly on a Sunday. (And every time I explain it, I can’t help but think that it must all sound a bit ridiculous!)

We meet together as a church for a formal service of worship to meet with God, to hear from him, to declare together His worth (as @matthew.western pointed out), and to remind ourselves (to tell ourselves again the story) of the Gospel.

We do this because we are worshipping creatures. That is, our hearts will always be devoted to something. Worship can be seen as an act that reveals our heart’s devotion(s). A man (or woman) will serve that which he (or she) loves…and that can be any number of things!

So, turning our hearts towards God and opening ourselves up to communing with Him will give space for God, by His Spirit, to speak into our lives.

And, I too wonder about what you mean by ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to worship? I mean, sacrificing children would definitely be a wrong way, but I’m thinking you have something rather less obvious in mind… :wink:

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@Luna something else for you to consider here is the word itself. When you look it up in the Hebrew and Greek it literally means to fall on your face. This is exactly what John does as do others when they see Jesus throughout the Bible.

Another important person to consider is David. He is referred to as a man after God’s own heart. I wondered about this for a long time until the penny dropped. He would sit there with his sheep writing Psalms (love songs) to God.

These are two key points for me currently when I reflect about what worship is. Oh and one more…

WE ARE THE TEMPLE:grin::heart::raised_hands:

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@matthew.western I haven’t read any articles recently. I guess during prayer I was wondering about it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m worshipping God correctly. I come from a more penacostal/Baptist background when it comes to worship so I listen to gospel or a gospel contemporary mix genre.

@KMac I guess I’m just wondering if there a specific way of getting close to God. I worship sometimes but feel nothing. Even though I know it’s not about feelings it makes it hard to decipher if there is anything I’m doing wrong.

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Worship = Living Life for Jesus. Everything we do. King David wrote a lot of Psalms to the LORD. He was a musician playing to soothe King Saul. I am sure they were worship Psalms/Songs about God’s Faithfulness. Mary in the Gospels bursted out in Song when Gabriel tells her she will carry the Messiah. In the Torah Myriam and even Moses were singing about the wonders that the LORD did for them. His miracles. His power. I always think of scriptures like, “make a joyful noise into the Lord.” “The LORD inhabits the praises of His people.”

The LORD, He is Holy. He is amazing. Ask the LORD. Soak in His word. Quiet time. Sing to Him. Acknowledge Him wherever you are. Give him all your problems first. God loves you. Thankfully, he wants us to pray without ceasing. “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Ask Him for anything. He loves you.

But rest in Jesus’s Forgiveness. Grace. You can’t worship the LORD wrong. Remember He is the only Judge. And He died for you to make you the Righeousness of God in Jesus Christ.

@Luna, I had read this article by Ravi Zacharias a few months ago about Worship, which I loved. It’s a long one but here are the main points :

  • we cannot worship God without love.
  • we cannot worship God without giving honor
  • we cannot worship without sacrifice
  • we cannot worship God with a wrong motive
  • we cannot worship God without instruction in the truth .
  • we cannot worship God without obedience .

He also quoted a beautiful definition of worship from archbishop William Temple:

Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, nourishment of mind by His truth, purifying of imagination by His beauty, opening of the heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose. All this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of all expressions of which we are capable.

For me personally, I have had the best times of worship when I am totally able to focus on the attributes of God and meditate on richness of His words in Scripture. I have personally experienced many of those worship concerns raised by Ravi Zacharias in my own life. Though I verbally confessed Jesus as my God when I struggled to believe that God loved me during some seasons of life, I found it difficult to worship Him. Only an in-depth study on the love of God revived that love for God. There was also a season where I had exalted Christian performance or Christian role models so much that it took my eyes of the grace of Jesus. There were other times when unforgiveness played a role in dampening my ability to receive from God. Praying with a focus on problems than on God was yet another trap. There were also times when I prioritized my time with God in the Bible in the mornings but didnt think of Him all day after that. My faith was too compartmentalized. Other times, I had allowed doubts of the enemy than truth of the Bible to replay in my mind. So, I think there are ways we could miss out on the fullness of worshipping God even when trying to pursue Him. For the most part, what I find is that if I come to God with repentance in the name of Jesus and meditate on the greatness of God, my perspective changes and I feel stronger in my spirit knowing that I am loved in Jesus. Luna, its been so good to read your insights on Connect! I hope you are encouraged that you are not alone in feeling this. May the Spirit of God lead you into deep convictions of God’s love and presence as you worship Him. God bless you!

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