Step 12: Worship

By this we mean speaking to God about God and His wonderful attributes.   It is praise expressed by the exclamation, “Praise the Lord” (P.T.L.), or in Hebrew, Hallelujah!   Begin each time of prayer as Psalm 100:4 commands:   “Enter His courts with praise!”

 

In addition to personal prayer, the believer should participate in corporate prayer.   This can take place in a “prayer meeting,” a small group fellowship and certainly in the general meetings of the church.  Increasingly services feature “worship music.”   Worship can be silent although this takes real concentration that resists mind wandering.   It can be audible where appropriate.   The sole restriction on prayer at the general meeting of the church is found in I Corinthians 14:34, 40.

 

The believer will maintain regular attendance at church meetings on the Lord’s Day in order to worship God.   “Not forsaking our own assembling together as is the habit of some” (Heb. 10:25) He or she will also be a sacrificial giver (I Corinthians 16:1-2), regularly, proportionately, and systematically.   This is called a spiritual sacrifice and is acceptable to God as an act of worship (Phil. 4:18).

 

The Disciple is a worshipper of God.   No true disciple could fail to be what God says He seeks: worshippers.   He wants those who worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23), not by going through rituals by habit or in erroneous beliefs.   Worship can be silent in the presence of a God who knows our innermost thoughts.   It can be audible, either when alone or amid other believers.   It should begin any personal devotional time.   “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise [worship].”   Corporate worship (with other believers in a church meeting) is more than listening to a sermon while sitting in an audience.   Worship deficiency in corporate meetings has been called the missing jewel of the church.”

 

Many believers do not understand the true substance of worship.   This is to be directed to God alone, and the subject is God, not self.   Many Psalms are excellent examples of worship.   Note the expressions used, such as “ magnify the Lord,” “sing His praises,” or those that deal with many of His great attributes (all-knowing, all-seeing, all powerful, loving kindness, tender mercies, grace).   New Testament letters, especially by the Apostle Paul, feature doxologies (praise of God).   The most famous doxology begins, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”   One may truly worship in song if it is done with deep sincerity, from the heart, and not mindless repetition of familiar words.   Worship is often mingled with thanksgiving in Scripture, but they are distinct from one another.   Worship concerns who God is, in essence or actions He has taken.   Thanksgiving is for blessings we receive.  

 

It would be well for all disciples to give close attention to the daily practice of worship.   This can be done in private devotional times or spontaneous expressions of praise when God’s blessings and providence become evident.   This makes participation in corporate worship much easier.   We do not have to “turn it on” one day a week.   Private prayer begins with worship.   Sufficient time should be devoted to worship.   Quality should be improved by meditation on great Scripture worship passages, especially in the Psalms, like 103 and 139.

 

Worship will be our eternal occupation, according to Scripture.   It will center on the Son of God as the “Lamb freshly slain” for us, a constant reminder of how we came to be Heaven-bound.