What is Worship?

Lord, I have shut the door,
Speak now the word
Which in the din and throng
Could not be heard;
Hushed now my inner heart,
Whisper Thy will,
While I have come apart,
While all is still.


Worship can spring from many things. For instance, watching the beauty of a sunset or holding a new baby might trigger worship. Or a Bible verse we read or a song we sing might spark it. But these things just plant the seed for worship. Worship can grow from these things, but they are not worship themselves.

God will respond to worship. When King Solomon prayed, fire fell from heaven. When Elijah worshipped God spoke in a still small voice. When David worshipped, he wrote psalms expressing the feelings in his heart. When Jesus worshipped—spending whole nights in prayer—He was strengthened for His work.

I get the feeling that too many Christians seldom worship. They may go to church and call it a worship service, but how many people really worship in church? I suppose worship can be many different things to different people. Personality can influence our concept of worship and so can our background or culture. But genuine worship is more than a formula. It doesn’t come and go in deference to our schedule.

But what is worship? It is one of those indefinable things; almost impossible to explain. But when you worship you know it. Worship will always change you and draw you closer to God. About the best parallel I can think of is a nursing baby. A hungry baby lives to nurse, and lives because they nurse. Nursing is more than a physical experience for a baby, it is a time of spiritual union with its mother. It is important for the mother to realize this and to take time for her little one, because the child’s future depends on that bonding.

I think we could describe worship as a time of spiritual bonding between us and God. It moves both our heart and God’s heart. Unlike some human mothers, God will always take time for our worship. He never rushes through it, and He gives us his complete attention. I believe that the Christian who never worships will eventually die spiritually.

To be genuine, worship needs to include emotion, but not all emotions are genuine worship. For instance, I can feel the emotion of a Hillsong musical piece, but I don’t feel as if I’d worshipped after listening to it. I am more sympathetic with the Quaker concept of worship being quietness; a time of communion with God—a time when God speaks to you, and you listen and a time when you speak to God and He listens, though that is often secondary.

Worship is a merging of natures—our nature becoming more blended with God’s nature—and we come away from it spiritually renewed by our contact with God’s presence.

—Lester

Monday Morning Thoughts

My mind was drawn to this song recently and it helps to meet my need this morning. I thought perhaps it would do the same for you. Our experience in the garden walking and talking with Jesus is important, but in the end we hear his call to go out again, and share Him with the troubled souls around us. But I’m so blest that He will walk with me today.

Verse #1
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

Chorus
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

Verse #2
He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me,
Within my heart is ringing.

Verse #3
I’d stay in the garden with Him,
Tho’ the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go, thro’ the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.