Learning to Worship & Praise
When giving your heart to Jesus for the first time and starting off on your “walk” with the Lord; if you’re like me and depending upon your back ground you will encounter aspects of God’s people and of God Himself, that somehow, we find ourselves asking; Is this what God wants? Is this right? If this makes me uncomfortable is it good? Is this biblical? One such item for me was encountering for the first time, heart felt, holy hands to the sky, boisterous praise and worship of God. (Permission to laugh now ) This may seem strange to some of you charismatics out there but considering my religious background (Mormonism); church services are one of self-righteousness, piety, religion and traditions of men to be held in so called reverence and absolute silence. The so called “worship” service was like attending a funeral every Sunday. Now, you might see why encountering a crowd of people who actually are excited about the Lords presence can at first be shocking to someone of the aforementioned background (Like me). I think the below picture sums it all up for how I felt.
I remember one time in college; I was working as a security guard on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City and there was a worship service being held for born again Christians. I happened in on their service and people were just enjoying the presence of the Lord in worship and praise with hands raised high and shouts of joy as the music played. I remember thinking; “How strange”. Boy Howdy was my understanding of worship and praise skewed and wrong!
Come full circle to the present and boy has my perspective changed. When seeing Christians praise and worship I asked the Lord. Is this biblical? Here is what the Bible has to say about it.
Let All Things Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
What about raising your hands to the sky? Here is just some of what the Bible has to say about it.
1 Timothy 2:8 (NIV)
8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
1 Kings 8:54 (NIV)
54 When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.
So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, Which I love; And I will meditate on Your statutes.
There are many more but I think you get the point. What would any logical person deduce from all of this? The Lord not only deserves but likes to be praised and worshiped. Worship is expressed in body posture, singing, dancing, music, shouting, kneeling, clapping hands, bowing heads, raising up holy hands and more! For me this was a major breakthrough! (Yeah! Applause now!)
I’ll sum this all up in a couple of pictures. When meditating about this one day I believe the Lord gave me two mental pictures. I felt he said; If you were the guest of honor at a large gathering and the announcer announces your name and you take center stage, which crowd do you think is more excited to see you?
This begs the question. Don’t you think God feels similar about our worship services?
“Holy, holy, holy,[f] Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
“You are worthy, O Lord,[g] To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist[h] and were created.”
Let’s give the Lord his proper respect and worship he deserves. If you would like a more in-depth study of worship I recommend you get Derek Princes “Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship” CD. God bless and Glory to Jesus!