What is Praise and Worship?
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“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24, NLT)
We as humans love a good title. We love to give names to things, and with good intentions. Sometimes though, the true meaning somehow gets lost amongst the crowd, and the true intention is led astray.
After a service one Sunday, I felt that I wanted to know more about praise and worship. I dove into God’s word, to truly understand what He describes as praise and worship, as opposed to what we describe it as.
Let’s start with praise. Praise in the Greek translation means to sing, to tell of, to give, or to confess. I took a journey through the Bible this week to truly understand praise and found these verses particularly helpful:
- Psalm 9:1-3, 18:2-3 and 28:2, & 6-7 describe how to praise God for what He has done for us, how He is our Rock and is worthy, how He hears us and is our strength and shield.
- Psalm 33:1-4 tells us that praise is the right thing to do.
- Psalm 79:13 tells us that we praise so we may pass from generation to generation the knowledge of His goodness, of His grace, and of His mercy.
- In Acts 16:25 we see Paul and Silas praising God and witnessing to other prisoners.
“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” (Colossians 3:16, NLT)
What is worship?
Worship in both the Greek and Hebrew translation show the definition to be to prostrate oneself, to bow down, to fall face down, to pay homage and to pay respect. With this definition, one could question, “Can one worship in action and not in heart?” This led me to John.
“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 (NLT)
Worship is from our spirit. It is from our heart. The actions of worship come only if we are worshiping in spirit and in truth. This was a good dose of conviction on me. Am I truly worshiping? Do I worship only in public, or do I truly look at worship and take it to my secret place with God too?
There are many examples of the worship of Jesus in the New Testament (see Luke 17:15-16, Luke 7:36-37, John 12:3). To worship Jesus, is to put everything else second…including ourselves. God seeks us to worship Him, in all we do, in public and in private.
My goal in my growth, is to seek Him in worship not just before church, or prayer, but through out my day. To quiet myself, and just worship Him, bask in His presence, and give my thanks and praise for all He has done for me.
Lord, may my worship time with You this week come to a new level, a deep and intimate one, that can only grow. Amen
Question: How do you worship God outside of church?