Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘What is worship’

“What is Worship?” Reader’s Theater Script

Worship is God's invitation to transformation.

Worship is God’s invitation to transformation.

This Reader’s Theater script about worship can be utilized during a worship service for the purpose of sharing these truths about what worship is and is not with God’s people, helping them to more fully understand the depth of meaning, relationship, and surrender found in true worship.  The Readers can be students or adults.  They need to be well-prepared through rehearsal so that the sharing of these truths can be meaningful and thought-provoking.

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What is Worship?

A Reader’s Theater Script
designed for 3 readers

written by
Travis L. Boyd

Worship Pastor–We hear a lot about worship these days, but what is worship?

Speaker #1 – Worship is believing that God is.

Speaker #2—Worship is recognizing God’s greatness.

Speaker #3—Worship is seeking to know God on a deeper level.

Speaker #1 – Worship is surrendering to the will of God completely.

Speaker #2—Worship is living for God’s glory, not my own.

Speaker #3—Worship is experiencing God’s presence personally.

Speaker #1—Worship is not a great old hymn.

Speaker #2—Worship is not a wonderful new song.

Speaker #3—Worship is not a sermon.

Speaker #1—Worship is our response to God.

Speaker #2—We may worship with a great old hymn.

Speaker #3—We may worship with a wonderful new song.

Speaker #1—We may worship as God’s word is preached.

Speaker #2—The important thing is that we do worship.

Speaker #3—We must focus this hour on God and not ourselves.

Speaker #1—Not on what we want to sing.

Speaker #2—Not on what we want to hear.

Speaker #3—Not on what we want to feel.

All Speakers— Worship is our response to God.

 

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PERMISSION FOR USAGE

The above Reader’s Theater Script may be utilized free of charge
for verbal presentation during Worship Services, Small group meetings,
Sunday School classes, Youth Group meetings, and Bible Studies
with no further permission required.

However, this piece may not be published in any form
(magazine, newsletter, etc.) without permission.

Please comment to request permission for publication.
Your comment will not be seen by others
since comments must be approved in order to appear on our blog.
It will, however, enable us to communicate with you about securing permission.

Thank you for your consideration.

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NOTE:  For additional descriptions and definitions of worship, see our post, Worship: Definitions and Quotations .

Additional posts on the subject of worship:

Worship…it’s all about Giving!

Worship Planning and Preparation

Or, to see all of our posts on the subject of worship, visit our “Worship… with Wonder” category:  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/category/worship-with-wonder/

 

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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The Choir in Praise

 Sing praise to the Lord  sunrise“Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name.”   Psalm 30:4

As Choir members (soloists, vocalists in ensembles or Praise Teams), we are in a position of leadership in Worship Ministry every time that we are in the loft or on the platform. 

Sing praises with understandingWe need to have a clear understanding of praise and worship in order to both personally worship the Lord and to lead others in worship.  First, we must understand the difference between praise and worship.

Consider this fact:  the Bible speaks about praise and worship in distinctive ways, sometimes using both words in the same passage of scripture.

*  “O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.”   Psalm 51:15

*  “Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to Him glorious praise!”   Psalm 66:1

I will sing praise*  “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”   Psalm 69:30

*  “Praise ye the Lord; O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?  Who can show forth all His praise?”   Psalm 106:1 & 2

In the verses above, certain facts about praise begin to emerge.

1.  Praise is outward.  It is sung or spoken; it is uttered; it is shown forth.

2.  Praise focuses on the attributes of God and what He has done.

3.  Praise is obviously important, for we are told repeatedly to do it.

Now, lets look at some verses that talk about worship.

*  “Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

*  (Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

Worship the Lord with gladness*  “I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

*  “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

From these scriptures, we see several truths about worship.

1.  Worship is our response to who God is and what He has done, as we lovingly and reverently choose to acknowledge God’s supremacy over all of Creation and his ultimate worth as Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Comforter, and the Author and Finisher of our faith.

2.  Worship must be done in honesty, knowing that God sees our hearts.  We worship Him truthfully as we come to Him in a spirit of humility and acknowledge our own faults and even our struggles with faith and doubt.  Truthful worship honors God because we are trusting our weaknesses to Him, knowing that He is good.

Worship by giving God all of you3.  Worship that is acceptable and holy to God involves a commitment of all our our lives, choosing to live in a way that honors God and give Him glory.  He has sacrificed His all for us; and we, in turn, become living sacrifices to Him as we commit ourselves to living reverently.  Notice that the physical (presenting of our bodies and our lives as an offering to the Lord) becomes spiritual (our spiritual worship) as we respond to God’s mercies by lovingly giving ourselves.

4.  No matter what has happened in our lives, true worship involves choosing gratitude to God as we recognize that what is temporary is only part of reality.   We look forward in faith, with the assurance that the eternal reality we will someday experience in full will replace all sorrow and pain with joy and the complete knowledge of how much we are loved.

With the fundamental understanding that praise is choosing to express our acknowledgement of who God is and what He has done and that worship is our loving and reverent response to God’s goodness and love in every area of our lives, let us continue to focus on the role of God’s singers in praise and worship.  Although we are always concerned with musical excellence, that concern is secondary to the intentional commitment of our voices in praise and our hearts and lives in worship.

“As a worship pastor and a choir leader, I am constantly desiring to walk the line where authenticity and excellence meet, ministering deeply to the hearts of people, and, more importantly to the heart of God.”

–  Travis Cottrell, Christian Artist, worship pastor, songwriter

Let’s look at a Psalm that puts our lives and God’s supremacy into perspective.

Psalm 103

English Standard Version (ESV)

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

A Psalm of David.

Bless the Lord O my soul103 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me,  bless his holy name!  2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;  3   who forgives all your iniquity,  who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit,  who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. 13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame;  He remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;  he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,  and its place knows it no more. 17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

So, WHY DO WE PRAISE THE LORD?

I sing praise to You1) Because the very greatness of God demands it.

2) Because we have been very blessed.

3) Because it helps us to focus on God and not on ourselves.

4) Because praise helps to prepare our hearts for God to do a work in them.

WHY DO WE SING PRAISES TO GOD AS A CHOIR?

1) Because it is Biblical.

2) Because it is a powerful way to express praise to God

3) Because it adds energy and life to the times of focused, congregational worship

4) Because a choir is able to prepare expressions of praise that a congregation can not.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS WE MUST ALWAYS REMEMBER WHEN SINGING IN CHOIR?

1)  We are a singing group, not a group of singers.  We are joining our voices together in praise, with the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God.

What a difference!  This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression.  They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

This choir is aware that part of communicating the message effectively is eye contact and facial expression. They are visually engaged in worship when they sing.

2)  We must do all we can do to help further an atmosphere conducive to leading God’s people in worship each week.

a. We must have invested the time to be prepared (musically and spiritually).

b. We must be ready to serve the Lord through worship ministry, bringing a servant’s attitude.

c. Our countenance (facial expression and radiance) should be a reflection of worship and praise as well.

d. We must be authentic worshippers who seek to live a lifestyle of worship throughout the week.

3)  The reason that we have come together is not to sing.  It is to worship.  Singing is a part of our worship as we seek to bring glory to God and to express our praise to Him, but the heart of worship is our desire to intentionally express God’s ultimate worth through all that we are.

WORSHIP SCRIPTURES

“But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house, I will worship toward Your holy temple in reverence, and awe of You.”  Psalm 5:7

“Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is Holy.”   Psalm 99:5

beauty of holiness“Honor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts.  O worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness; fear before Him, all the earth.”‘   Psalm 96:6 – 9

“And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.”‘  Luke 4:7

(Jesus speaking)  “The hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23 & 24

“I appeal to you therfore, brethren, by the mercies of God , to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  Romans 12:1

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”  Hebrews 12:28

“And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and wonderful are Thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty!  Just and true are Thy ways, O King of the ages!  Who shall not fear and glorify Thy name, O Lord?  For Thou alone art Holy.  All nations shall come and worship Thee, for Thy judgements have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:3 & 4

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The above post includes teaching about worship and praise shared with our Adult Choir by Travis L. Boyd

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FOR FURTHER STUDY ON WORSHIP AND PRAISE

(Below, you will find information about praise and worship from a leadership course about what it means to praise God and what it means to worship God.  The information has been slightly and condensed and edited.)   The web address for the resource found below is http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

Praise and worship are distinct, yet closely related activities. 

A.  Praise is an outward expression of your love for God.  It is a natural and very important part of worship, which is our loving response to the presence of God in our lives.

1.   Praise is a choice.  You can choose to express your love for God at any time, and in any situation.  You can praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised to do.

2.   Your praise can be addressed directly to God, but it is often directed to others around us, proclaiming His greatness and encouraging others to praise Him.  Praise can even be directed to the spiritual forces in the heavenlies, proclaiming the greatness of the true God.

3.  Though God certainly knows when we are in an attitude of praise and hears the praises of our hearts, we must remember that, by definition, praise must be expressed.  If you have thought about something nice regarding someone you know but have not expressed those thoughts verbally, you have not praised him or her.  Within gatherings such as the congregation and within relationships, praise is expressed by voicing our love and admiration, often specifically mentioning the attributes or actions of the person being praised.  Praise can be written, spoken or sung; but it must be expressed.

4.  When you praise God, He will respond by manifesting His presence to you.  When you experience God’s presence, you are able to respond directly to Him, and tell Him how much you love Him.  That response is called worship.  In worship, you experience intimacy with God, and express your adoration to Him.

B.   Praise is the gateway through which we must pass to enter into the presence of God and worship Him. 

1.  Praise and worship are the activities of heaven and are also very important for the Body of Christ on Earth.

2.  If you do not learn to praise God as He wants to be praised, you will fail to experience His presence, and your worship will be lacking.

3.  You were created to praise and worship God.  (See Romans 12:1)  When you give yourself to the activity of praise and worship, you are fulfilling the purpose for which you are made.  Because of this, the praise and worship of God brings a fulfillment and satisfaction that nothing else in the universe can bring.             

C.  It pleases God when we praise Him.

1.   The Psalms tell us that God comes and manifests His presence in our midst when we praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people!

2.   The importance that God places on praise is revealed by the frequency of scriptural exhortations about it.  The most frequent exhortation in all of the Bible is to PRAISE THE LORD!  (It is also interesting to note that the longest book in the Bible is the book of Psalms — a book of praise songs!)

D.  It is important to God how you praise and worship Him. 

1.  The example of the tabernacle of Moses in the Old Testament shows us that God has the right to be praised and worshipped as HE desires.  When the people chose to disregard His instructions and follow their own ideas and traditions, He was displeased!

2.   If we are to praise and worship God, we must look to His Word to understand how He desires to be praised and worshipped.  We must allow God to instruct us about how we are to offer up our praise and commit to doing so!

What is Praise?

A    Remember the definition of praise:  Biblical praise is the free expression of love and appreciation to God.

1.    It is important that you love God.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that you love the Lord your God.  It is also important, however, for that love to be expressed outwardly.

2 .   A husband and wife may love each other; but if that love is never expressed, if there are no loving words or actions exchanged, their relationship is not good.  A general principle is:  When love is not expressed, it shrivels up and dies.  When love is expressed, it grows.

3.    It is important for your love of God to be expressed outwardly.  That outward expression of your love for Him is PRAISE.

B.  How can we express our love for God in a way that pleases Him?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” — Mk 12:30

1.  We must open our hearts to God and not attempt to withhold any part of our lives and hearts from Him.  He knows all about us, anyway.

2.  Because we are emotional beings, we must not suppress genuine emotion in expressing our praise.

3.  Praise must come from our innermost being (our soul), which involves choosing to surrender our will.  The decision to praise is a decision of the will.

4.  Even though we are emotional beings, our decision to praise the Lord must not be based upon feelings or circumstances.  In the Psalms, we can see that David spoke to his soul even in the midst of despair and commanded it, “Praise the Lord, O my soul!”   David made a decision, an act of the will, that he would praise the Lord even if he did not feel like it.  Psalm 146 says, “I will praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to Him as long as I live!”  That is a choice!  Very often, the times when we do not feel like praising are the very times we need to praise God most.  We need to decide to praise Him because He is worthy of praise, even when we do not feel like it!  When we make that choice, we are expressing love for God from our very souls.

5.   Our minds must be fixed upon God, and our praise must be more than simple repetition.  This involves our intellect.  This is important!  Some people express praise to God that has no meaning.  They just say, over and over, “Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”  God wants your love to be expressed with your minds.  To praise God deeply, you need to express a real understanding of who God is.

4    Our strength is also to be employed in expressing our love for God through praise.  Praise involves physical activity.  The Bible talks of David “praising God with all of his might.” (2 Sam 6:14).  That is expressing love with your strength.

C.   Why is Praise Important?

Eph 1:6,12,14 and 1 Pet 2:9 state that one of God’s purposes for saving us is to be a people who would show forth His praises in the earth.

1.  Praise aligns our hearts to God. 

2.  Praise opens our hearts to receive from Him.

3.  Praise clears away distractions.  Only when we choose to focus on praising the Lord can we clear our minds of other concerns.

4.  Praise builds faith.  As we choose to focus on praising God rather than upon our problems, faith rises within us.

5.  Praise brings His presence.  When we truly praise God, His presence is manifested in your midst, often in a very tangible way.  We know that God is present everywhere, at all times and that there is nothing that is out of His control (His omipresence).  We also know that, for every person who is a true believer in Jesus Christ, God lives within that individual in a special way.  (When you trusted in Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit of God took up residence in your heart.  He is always with you to comfort, to enlighten, and to teach you as you read His Word.  You may not feel His presence, but by faith you can know that He is there.  This is God’s indwelling presence.)  What the Bible speaks of when scripture says that God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3) is His manifest presence.

a)   God’s presence is manifest when He chooses to make His presence known.  It is when He makes Himself tangible to you.  You experience Him and enter into a spiritual intimacy with Him.  This is also when His power is revealed.  (Power is an outflow of communion with Him.)

b)   When we experience the manifest presence of God, He is there to heal, to comfort, to energize His gifts, or to manifest His power.  If you want to experience God’s presence, and see God work in power in your life, the solution is to learn to praise Him.

6.   Praise defeats the enemy.  See Psalm 149:   The first six verses give us a beautiful description of praise, but in verse 7 and following, it changes to a description of warfare.   There are times when you know you are under attack.  Everything seems to go wrong.  Many times, it is just after you have made a step forward in your spiritual life.  Sometimes it is when you are just getting ready to begin a new area of ministrWhat do you do when the enemy attacks?  One solution is to praise God.

How is Praise Expressed?

In the Old Testament, there are seven Hebrew words used for praise.  Each one of these describes a specific way of expressing your love to God.

A.   The Physical Expression of Praise.

1.  Yadah and Towdah (to praise with lifted hands).

a)   The first two words for praise are very similar in meaning.  They are Yadah and Towdah.  They both come from the Hebrew word that means “to extend the hand”.  These two describe an expression of praise by extending the hands upward to God in adoration.

b)  Yadah” is the most frequently used word for praise in the Bible.  Most of the exhortations to praise use this word.

c)   The lifting of hands is an outward expression of love, dependency, submission, and appreciation.

d)   When you raise your hands to God, it tells your mind that you are dealing with someone greater than you are.

2.   Barak (To bend the knee in praise, to bow down before).

a)   Barak” describes an expression of praise that uses not just the hands, but the whole body.  It is the expression of praise by kneeling or bowing down to God.

b)   When we bow down before God, we are acknowledging Him as our Lord, the King of the universe.  It is very appropriate to express our praise to Him in this way.

c)   Your bodies were designed by God to be instruments to express His praise.  It is valid to stand, kneel, lift your hands, or fall down on your face before Him.  God wants you to be free to express your praise to him with your bodies.

B.  The Musical Expression of Praise.

Music is spiritually significant for a number of reasons.  Music makes you sensitive to hear God (2 Kings 3:14-16), it communicates spiritual truth (Col 3:16), and (if played under the anointing of God) it can drive away spiritual enemies (1 Sam 16:14-23).

1.   Zamar (to praise God with a musical instrument).

a)   Zamar comes from a root word that means “to pluck strings of a musical instrument.”  This word is used in several passages, including Psalm 135:3 and Psalm 147:7.  (This is the Hebrew word we get the word “Psalms” from.  The Psalms were songs to be sung together with instruments.)

b)   The Bible indicates that the instrumental part of the music is important.  Psalm 150 exhorts us to praise God on string, wind, and percussion instruments.  The Israelites used all the instruments they had as instruments for praising God.

2.  Tehillah (to express praise in song).

a)  The word “tehillah comes from a root word that means “to sing.”

b)   It is used in such passages as Psalm 34:1-2.  “His praise (tehillah) shall continually be in my mouth” and Psalm 100:4, “Enter His courts with praise (tehillah).”

c)  Not all singing is praise, even if you are singing hymns or praise songs.  Singing songs of praise becomes praise when you are singing to the Lord as an expression of love to Him.

d)   In Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, Paul describes three categories of songs to sing to the Lord.

       Psalms – The Psalms are Biblical songs.  Even though we do not know the original tunes to the Psalms, we can take the words of the Psalms and set them to music and sing these inspired songs to God.

       Hymns – Hymns are songs of praise to God that are not part of the Bible.  The modern expressions of praise we sing today, as well as the hymns written through the history of the church, would all be included in the category of hymns.

       Spiritual Songs – Spiritual songs are songs given by the Spirit, for a particular moment.  They are a spontaneous expression of love for God.  There are two categories of spiritual songs:

C.   The Free Expression of Joy

Sometimes God wants you to be deep and thoughtful in your expression of love, but at other times the love inside of you wants to burst forth in free expression.  There are times when you want to shout it from the rooftops!  There are two words that describe this kind of praise:

1.    Halal (to celebrate)

a)    halal” is a Hebrew word that means to celebrate. 

b)   Halal means to express your love for God by joyously and freely celebrating before Him.

c)   Biblical descriptions of Halal involve clapping hands, dancing, shouting, and rejoicing before the Lord.  This word is used in such passages as Psalm 47:1-6 and Psalm 150.

d)  It is from the word “halal” that we get the word “hallelujah”.  (Hallelujah is an exhortation to have a halal for Yahweh).

In 2nd Samuel 6, when the ark was brought into Jerusalem, David took off his robe and danced before the Lord.  (That was halal.)  His wife, Michal, watched David dance and despised him for it.  When he returned, she criticized him and accused him of making a fool of himself by dancing before the Lord.

David responded to Michal by saying that it was all right to look foolish for God.  He told her that he would continue to be foolish for God, because everything he had was given to him by God.

The passage concludes by mentioning God’s judgment on Michal for criticizing David’s dancing.  Because she despised David’s joyful praise, God made Michal barren for the rest of her life.  The lesson here is to be careful of criticizing other people’s praise.

2.  Shabach (to shout).

a)  Shabach” means to praise in a loud tone, to shout, or to shout in triumph.  It is used in such passages as Ps 117:1 and Ps 147:12.  This form of praise is common in the Bible.

b)  In Nehemiah, the people rejoiced before the Lord; and the noise of their celebration was so loud that it could be heard a long way off.  They were shouting before the Lord.

c)   Rev 19:1, 4-6:  In this description of heavenly praise, the roar of all the heavenly hosts shouting their praises is so loud that it sounds like thunder.

If your praise is weak, your worship will be shallow.  If you enter into the high praises of God and praise Him with all of your might, you will find that your high praise will be followed by a time of deep worship.

Note:  The worship resource above, copied and edited here, can be found in its entirety at http://leresources.com/praise_and_worship.html

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More about praise from http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

When we worship, we are expressing our reverent love and devotion to God. Worship is the act of doing something like reading the Bible, praying, or singing. However, worship is not limited to only to these things. When we praise, we are expressing our admiration for God; we are lifting Him up in exaltation. Praise is the act of celebrating or boasting about the Lord. Praise can be done through song, poems, or confessing the goodness of God to others. We should be giving God our praise and worship through our daily lives. We can do this at home, in our work place, on the bus – wherever we are! Praise and worship is a way of life, the very heartbeat of our relationship with God.

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Praise To God – The Importance of Praise

Praise to God is what we offer in acknowledgement of God’s excellent being. You might think that praise is the same as saying “thank you,” but there is a difference. Thanksgiving describes our attitude toward what God has done, while praise is offered for who God is. Psalm 18:3 says “I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise…”

All believers are commanded to praise God! In fact, Isaiah 43:21 explains that praise is one reason we were created, “This people I have formed for Myself; they shall declare My praise.” Hebrews 13:15 confirms this: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name.”

Praise originates in a heart full of love toward God. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Are you a Christian today? If so, you know that you love God because He first loved you! Without God’s love, any praise you can offer is hollow. Love, born from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, is an essential part of your praise.

Praise To God – How to Praise God

How can you bring praise to God? What can you do to make it an integral part of your life? Praise can be expressed in song, in verse, or in prayer and it is to be done continuously! Psalm 34:1 instructs, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 71:6 says, “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.”

Praise to God is expressed outwardly through our everyday actions, as well as inwardly in our thoughts. Praise is an act of Christian worship.

“Where do I begin?” you may ask. “How do I start praising God?” If praising God is new to you, try praising God for who He is to you, personally. Proclaim that God’s goodness is without measure; it is abundant and overflowing! Here are some ways to get started:

• Praise God for His holiness, mercy, and justice (2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 99:3-4).

• Praise God for His grace (Ephesians 1:6).

• Praise Him for His goodness (Psalm 135:3).

• Praise God for His kindness (Psalm 117).

• Praise God for His salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Praise to God can be offered anywhere! In time, it will become as normal as taking a breath. Sometimes we praise God inwardly as in Psalm 9:2, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” Other times we have opportunity to give glory and praise to our God publicly. Psalm 22:22 says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you.” Search out opportunities to bring praise to God!

Praise To God – Who Praises God?

Praise to God, while offered particularly by His children as the freewill expression of grateful hearts, will one day be offered by everyone! The Bible says that when He comes again, all mankind will praise Him and acknowledge Him as Lord. He is King over all the earth. When we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, our hearts long to praise His name. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us His name represents His being, describing who He is, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

The Bible also records:

• All nature praises God (Psalm 148:7-10).

• The sun, moon, and stars praise Him (Psalm 19:1 and 148:3).

• The angels praise Him (Psalm 148:2).

• Even the wrath of men is used by God to praise Himself (Psalm 76:10).

• Children are to be taught to praise God (Psalm 78:4).

Praise To God – Do You Proclaim His Praise?

Your praise to God is evidenced through your salvation. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

NOTE:  The above can be found at http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-to-praise-and-worship-god-faq.htm

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Read more!

The book “God’s Singers”, by Dave Williamson, is a great resource for Worship Leaders and Choir Directors.  Singers would enjoy the special Singer’s edition of the book.  Here  is a review of the book, from Worship Leader online magazine.

God’s Singers

By | Categories: In Review
Author: Warren Anderson
Every so often a worship music book is published that becomes recognizable as the definitive, go-to reference for its particular genre in its particular generation.  In our time, if you wish to talk about the history of music in the Church, go to Paul Westermeyer’s Te Deum.  If building a case for congregational song is your desire, your first stop should be John Bell’s A Case for Congregational Song.  Want a grad-school-level analysis of how contemporary worship music is used these days?  The Message in the Music (Robert Woods and Brian Walrath) is your best bet.Dave Williamson’s God Singers joins these other must-haves where the specific subject of worship-leading choirs is concerned.  Every possible topic that should be covered in a book of this nature is here.  Biblical support for the use of choirs in worship?  Check.  Lots and lots of practical how-to’s for getting the best sound out of your singers?  Got it.  Sociological discussions of issues inherent in corporate ministry, even ones peculiar to choral singing?  Yep.  Stylistic techniques for transforming your choristers into a black-gospel choir, a rock choir, or a modern-worship choir—i.e., what to do with vibrato, vocal licks, and syncopation?  They’re here.  Helpful appendices from Williamson’s 40 years in the biz?  Nine of them.  Consider purchasing the (condensed) singer’s edition for your choir members and the (expanded) director’s edition, which includes a CD-ROM of ancillaries, for yourself.  Highly recommended. Title: God’s Singers Author: Dave Williamson Publisher: In:cite Media
Here’s a link to the Singer’s Edition of the book on ChristianBook.com:  http://www.christianbook.com/gods-singers-singers-edition-dave-willimason/9780615406312/pd/406312
NOTE:  The quotation by Travis Cottrell found in this blog post came from his online recommendation for this book.
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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Understanding Worship

“I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify Thy name forevermore.” Psalm 86:12

How can we recognize authentic worship, and how can we make sure that we as individuals are authentic in worshipping our Almighty God?

 *  Is there a particular style or form of worship that is more authentic than any other?
*  Is there something that can be measured or seen in authentic worship?  

What is the focus of authentic worship, and what should be our understanding of what the word ‘worship’ really means?

Most importantly, HOW can our church experience the kind of dynamic worship that blows the doors off of our church buildings by spilling over and flooding into our daily lives and thereby impacting the community around us?

Perhaps, we need to look for the answer to this question:  “What did Jesus say about true worship?”

Jesus said that true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in truth and that God seeks such worshippers (John 4:23 & 24).

What does it mean to worship God in Spirit and in truth?

The answer to this very important question often eludes God’s people, and sometimes there is very little attention given to the subject.   In over 35 years of active church life, since the time of our salvation, in the churches where Travis and I have served, we’ve heard very few sermons and Bible studies that specifically addressed the topic of worship in depth.  This topic may not be neglected in every congregation, but years of ministry have shown us that God’s people often have a lack of knowledge about true worship.  So many people seem to think that worship is a 25 minute time of singing just before the preaching begins in a congregational worship service.  Others have actually been told that the purpose of congregational worship is to “prepare the hearts of the people to receive the message from God’s word”  (preaching).  However, in reality, worship is worship!  Worship is our response to recognizing God’s ultimate worth.  The goal of worship is to give God glory We do not worship God in order to prepare for something else.  The preaching of God’s word is worship, too, when it brings God glory!   We worship through the proclamation of the word.  Unfortunately, many people have very wrong ideas about what worship is and how the concept of worship should fit into the everyday life of every Christian.

The primary focus for every Christian should be to relate to our holy God and worship Him, and yet we are woefully under-educated about how to do the very thing for which we were created and for which the church meets together every week.  In a corporate worship service and in the way that we live our daily lives, our focus should be on worshipping God and giving Him glory.   However, when we view God only through the lens of our own lives, what we want Him to do for us, and the blessings we seek, then our focus becomes all about us.   We become more concerned about what we get out of worship and not concerned at all about what we give!

The Bible tells us repeatedly to give God honor, glory, blessing, praise, worship, exaltation, joyful singing, thanksgiving, reverence, awe, and all that we are.  This is the key:  Worship (our response to our holy, almighty, and supreme God) is about giving!  It is not about us, or about our preferences, or about what we get out of the experience (although true worship does give back abundant blessings when we give Him the glory due His name!).

Worship is about seeing God for who He is…
the Creator of everything that is,
the Sustainer of Life,
the Holy and Righteous One,
the God of grace and glory,
the Merciful Father who sacrificed His one and only Son out of love for us!

Our response then becomes an effort to give all that we are to Him, seeking to bring Him glory in all of life.

That is worship.

Okay, so we’re supposed to give.  What happens when we come to a worship service without being ready to give?   There are a couple of scenarios.

A.  Sometimes we may feel that we have nothing to give.  God does not want our perfection…we have none.  He does not want us to pretend to feel anything other than what we feel.  If we are feeling lonely or sad, He wants us to confess that and give it to Him.  If we are struggling with trusting Him, He wants us to admit the struggle and ask Him to give us a heart of praise in the midst of it.  Whatever our burden may be, he wants us to lay it down and to exchange it for the garment of praise.  When we realize our need to be clothed with praise, intentionally seeking to give God glory in spite of circumstances, He can work in our hearts and lives in spite of any areas where we fall short of His will for us.  He meets us right where we are and continues to give the gifts of His presence, comfort, peace, assurance, gifts of the Spirit, and even quickens (wakes up and brings to life) His Spirit within us, enabling us to give and to worship.  Imagine what could happen when a whole congregations chooses the mindset of focusing on our Great God rather than on our problems, our faults, or the faults of others!  Wow!  That would be amazing!

B.  In contrast to this scenario, consider what happens when we sit down in the worship center and are not even aware that we could be bringing to God the offerings of praise, worship, our hearts and lives, exaltation, thanksgiving, and more through everything that takes place during the worship service (not just the singing!) ?   If we are not only unaware of our need to give Him praise but also unwilling to view the worship experience as one of giving, our focus is on self and ‘the Lord as He relates to me.’  Unfortunately, the end result of this approach is lifeless worship, selfish attitudes, and division within the fellowship.  If someone were to ask what we were doing, our response might be that we are giving God praise.  But unless we are truly praising God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and focusing on Him alone as though He were right there in the room with us (He is!), our words are nothing more that lip service.

True worship unites our hearts, because we all share a common focus…on Him!

Matthew 18:20 tells us that Jesus will be in our midst when we gather in His name!  Only as we lay aside every earthly attitude that would hinder true worship and put all of our focus on Him can we say that we are gathered in His name.  Without the presence of God, there is no power in worship.  The power comes from Him, not from us or from any specific forms of worship.  Whatever form our corporate worship service takes, if the people of God are not focused on bringing Him glory, then it is not really worship.

If I were a cartoonist, I would illustrate this post with some very meaningful cartoons.  These cartoons would depict how a fundamental misunderstanding of worship has resulted in a self-focus that is very harmful to the fellowship of the church.  The idea that the form or worship is the most important thing and the resulting attitude and fellowship problems can be well illustrated by several imaginary situations.

The Birthday Party
The first cartoon would picture a child’s birthday party where all of the guests have come wearing party hats with various slogans.  One hat pictures a chocolate ice cream cone with the slogan, “Just Say NO to Vanilla!”   Another hat says, “Bigger goody bags!”  Still another says, “More cake!”   You get the picture.  Unfortunately, the party guests would seem to have forgotten that the party is not about them and their preferences.  The purpose of the party is to celebrate and honor the birthday boy (or girl).   From experience as a party guest, I can testify that when one attends the party with the attitude that the party is for the honoree and that everyone wishes to contribute to the celebration of said person’s life, a guest can still have a great time and also the wonderful feeling of knowing that you helped someone you love have a really special moment in time.  There is joy in the giving because of  love!  Remember that God so loved that He gave!

Who is the guest of honor?

Who is the guest of honor?

God’s Sign
My second cartoon illustration would picture a congregation sitting in the pews, waiting for the service of worship to begin.  Several of the congregants are holding signs.  One sign says, “More hymns!”.   Another, “More worship songs!”, and still another, “More Southern Gospel”.  Other signs read, “More drums!’ and “Bigger choir!”   The second frame of this cartoon would show the platform area of the worship center.  Suddenly, a large cloud has appeared, hovering directly over the platform.  This is clearly not a normal cloud, for it is seemingly illuminated from within.   The third frame would show the startled looks on the faces of all of the members and ministers.  One person asks, “What in the world is that?”  In the fourth frame, an answer is given.  From the bottom of the cloud, a sign drops down with a 2 word message from God:  “More worship!”

Would we be worrying about our preferences if we could see Him?

Would we be worrying about our preferences if we could see Him?

In the Same Room
My third cartoon would again show a congregation in the pews (or chairs), with one very important difference.   This congregation is very visibly divided.  There are soundproof glass walls that extend all the way to the ceiling of the worship center and divide the seating area into sections.   Each seating area has it’s own mini platform in front, with a sign indicating the style of worship music that will take place in each section.  One section, labeled “Christian Rock”, has a full rock band set up, with lighting effects.  Another, labeled “Traditional Worship,”  has a choir and orchestra, and a piano and organ.   Another section, labeled “Southern Gospel,”  has a quartet warmed up and ready to sing.  Finally, the fourth section, labeled “Praise and Worship,”  has a praise band and praise team, a celebration choir, banners proclaiming God’s glory, and an incredible media set-up.   In the cartoon frame, a greeter has escorted a guest into the worship center.  As the guest takes in the scene, the greeter says, “Well, at least we’re still worshipping together!”   (Ouch!  Not really!)

[Note:  Remember that being together with our brothers and sisters in Christ is fellowship.  Worshipping together is divine communion.]

Techno Church
The fourth cartoon is unfortunately a really sad commentary and could take place not too far into the future.   In the first frame of the cartoon, each person in the worship center is wearing headphones and sitting in front of a screen.  You see, there is no longer enough unity to truly worship together, so the church of the future has settled for being in the same building at the same time.  Each individual controls their own “worship mix.”   At their personal computer screen, each person chooses which song videos they will see and hear on their screens and through their headphones.  They determine the style of the songs, which songs are sung, and even choose which group will perform them from a pre-recorded video menu.  Then, they can even choose their own sermon and preacher.  The middle frame shows everyone concentrating on their individual screens, isolated from fellow church members with their headphones and their individual worship service mix.  In the final frame, congregants begin to leave the worship center, having finished their ‘service’.  One shakes hands with another and says, “It was great to worship with you today.”   (Double ouch!)

I hope and pray that these last 2 cartoon depictions from my head don’t become reality!  We must begin to teach and preach and proclaim that true worship is about giving!   We’ll continue right down the slippery slope of demanding our own way and failing to extend any grace to other believers if we don’t begin to shout this message from the rooftops!  It’s not about me!  It’s not about you!  It’s not about one age group or another!  It’s not about a preferred musical style or your own particular list of favorite songs.  It’s not about formality or informality.  It’s not the style or cost of our clothing.

Worship is about Him!  It’s about giving God glory in every area of life, and corporately giving Him glory, honor, blessing, exaltation, thanksgiving, praise, and our whole hearts when we meet together to worship!  That, dear reader, is true worship!

Please, feel free to share this blog post with everyone you can think of!  God help us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth!

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd, with full responsibility and no apologies for its content.

Lord, please use the foolishness of bold words to draw hearts to yourself!

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There are several additional posts about worship on our blog.  Read the following posts and pages for additional perspective, practical ideas, and inspiration:

1.  “Lifestyle Worship”  (page focusing on giving God glory in all of life)   https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lifestyle-worship/

2.  “Creative Worship Ideas”  (page, self-explanatory)  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/creative-worship-ideas/

3.  “Worship ABC’s”   (good as a reminder or even for a dramatic or media presentation in worship)  post published Nov. 7, 2011  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/worship-abcs/

4.  “Worship Planning and Preparation”  (a comprehensive guide, with lots of inspiration and things to consider)  post published Jan. 26, 2012   http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/worship-planning-and-preparation/

5.  “Worship is Joy!”   (post focusing on the joy of giving God praise when we worship Him for who He is)   post published 1-31-2012   http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/worship-is-joy/

6.  Music is a gift…Worship the Giver!  (self-explanatory, very thought-provoking)

7.  https://worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/worship-its-all-about-giving-2/   Our best post on what worship really is, with every point sharing solid scriptural truth.

In addition, our page entitled “Lift Your Voice” is an extensive resource page for worship related scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments.  Check it out at http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/lift-your-voice/

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Here’s a link to a great article on the subject of worship and preference and what the REAL worship war is all about, written by Stephen Miller and published by the online mag Relevant Magazine.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/modern-worship-music-wars

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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