“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4, NIV
For many people, the word “worship” evokes an image of a singer on a church stage or a group of singers with hands lifted to the sky. Although song is one form of worship, worship goes much deeper than simply repeating lyrics in a melody. Worship is how we show God our adoration and appreciation. It is a way to show love and respect to God for all He has done. How we worship God can take on different forms.
Worthy of Worship and Praise
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” – Revelations 4:11, NIV
The Revelations phrase, “you are worthy,” points to one approach. God is worthy of our wholehearted worship and appreciation. His mercy and grace in relation to humankind is immense. He asks in return only that we have a relationship with Him. Worship is a way to convey our appreciation for His magnificent gifts.
Walking Away From Distractions
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” – Matthew 22:37-38, NIV
Being human, we are not immune to sin and temptation. We can be easily distracted by things in life that are not God — anything from a hobby to a person to an object. When that happens, we soon find ourselves investing the lion’s share of our time and energy in that distraction. Instead of worshipping God, we are in effect worshipping something earthly and temporary.
We are not loving God with all our hearts, souls and minds but prioritizing something else. It can be difficult to overcome these distractions and temptations, but with God’s help, it is possible. We can pray for strength to walk away from worshipping things that are not God and to return our focus to Him.
How to Worship God
The spectrum of ways to worship God is very broad. There is no one formula for worship, no perfect way to show God praise. He cares about intentions and the state of the heart more than the method of worship. Playing the piano might be one person’s way to worship God and feel close to Him. Another might give God praise by writing a list of reasons to be grateful. Others might dance, work with clay, paint or walk in the woods as a form of worship.
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.” – Psalm 40:3, NIV
A longstanding tradition of Christian worship uses music and song. For some, a musical instrument serves as a tool for the act of worship. Singing is another way to give praise — one that is mentioned several times in the Bible.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2, NIV
Prayer enables us to communicate personally with God. It can also be a way to praise God. We can go to Him with an open heart ready to speak to and hear from Him. Telling God what we are thankful for and devoting time to holding a conversation with Him shows that we cherish and admire Him and the gift of having a relationship with Him.
Relationships are nurtured through conversation and time. The same is true with prayer. Through time spent praising and praying to God, we can draw closer to Him.
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” – 1 John 5:3, NIV
Obedience is a form of worship. Each day, we have numerous choices to make. Often, we can choose between following God’s commands — doing what we know God would want — and doing what we personally think is best or what we want for ourselves. Taking the path we know God would want and obeying Him shows trust. When we do this, we allow Him to take priority over our own wants and desires.
However, in order to obey God, it is important to know what He says and what His will is. Reading the Bible is an essential aspect of obedience because it enables us to make decisions according to His commands as choices arise.
“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” – 1 Chronicles 29:11, NIV
God and all His works are awe-inspiring. His actions, continuous love and kindness are proof of His holiness and worthiness to be praised. Showing Him reverence is a way to worship. We can contemplate His creation and feel wonder at His magnificence. We can appreciate what He has created and thank Him for it. Reverence also conveys respect. It shows that we know God is greater than we are, greater than anything we could ever do.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.