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What Do You Think of When You Hear “Worship”?

What-Do-You-Think-of-When-You-Hear-Worship

Worship. What does that word call to mind when you hear it? The songs that you sing at your church on Sundays? An organ and a choir, donned in jewel-colored robes? Your friend playing an instrument in the praise band? Perhaps you attach the word worship to the entire service on Sunday morning. Or maybe it’s something more.

Worship can actually be something we do day in and day out. It can be a heart posture. It can be an offering of praise. There is corporate worship: what we do when we are gathered together, in God’s name, singing, praying, reading/hearing Scripture, listening to God’s Word taught by a preacher, and taking communion. There is also personal worship—and it’s much more vague, or all-inclusive, depending on how you look at it. Worship is our response to our Creator, a dialog between us and God, a celebration on our part of all He has done. Worship is how we ascribe to Him (as it suggests in several psalms, and in 1 Chronicles 16) the qualities of such a perfect, loving, forgiving, worthy God.

Worship can be asking Him to open our hearts and minds to be in tune with His will. Worship can be confession, and finding forgiveness. Worship is an expression of awe, wonder, and love. Worship can manifest in many ways; we aren’t all musical. Worship can be resting in His presence, praying continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), shouting from the rooftops, or being silent. Worship combines exalting Him (Psalm 99), exulting before Him (Psalm 68:4), and offering our lives to be used for His good purposes.

The Message paraphrases our personal, daily worship well:

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you” (Romans 12:1-2).

Worship can actually be something we do day in and day out.

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Worship is heart work. It isn’t just singing the words, or even raising your hands. The worship God desires from us is communion with Him—letting our hearts be open to His bending and rending. He wants to give us His kingdom, and to “acceptably” worship Him with reverence and awe should be our natural response. Hebrews 12:28 says, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.”

So when you wake up in the morning, or as you go about your day today, or when you walk into church on Sunday, take a moment to turn your heart to Him. Take a moment and ask Him to help your every move be worship. Truly ask Him to open the eyes of your heart. Let yourself see His wonders, see how He is working in your life. Thankfulness and acknowledgement of His goodness are acts of worship that you can do anytime.


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Whitney is a wife, mama of three, worship leader, extrovert, and writer. She also loves reading, running, music, community, mountains, and Jesus. Oh, and list-making.

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