Worshipping and Praising God

Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.    (Ps. 96:9)

I recently led a workshop on Emotional Intelligence at the sheriff’s academy.  Before starting to present the material, I asked the participants what it was like to be police officers these days. They were very forthcoming about all the strains, stresses, and challenges of their work.

I then asked them how they filled up.  Some talked about being with their children or their spouses.  Several mentioned exercise.  Then one guy said, “Worship.  I fill up with worship.”

I asked, “Besides Sundays, what do you do?”  He said, “I sing to God.”

I said, “What do you sing?”  He immediately reached between his shirt and bulletproof vest and pulled out a book of songs.

I asked him to read something. What he read, and then sang, caused a complete hush in the room.   After he had finished, he said, “Without worship, I couldn’t do this work.”

Although the object of our worship is to give thanks and praise to God, the benefits from our worship impact every aspect of our lives.  Our worship puts us in right relationship with God—adoration; it reminds us who we are—God’s children; it gets us on our knees when we mess up; it inspires us to be God’s servants; it brings us back when we’re drifting.

I encourage us to remember that worship isn’t about an event on a certain day, in a certain place, at a certain time.  Worship is a way of life on all days, in all places, at all times.

God made us to worship.  Our worship is essential for us to live.  In all of our discussions about worship styles, we must remember that worship must not devolve into our preferences.

Our worship needs to be about surrender before the Glory to God, awe before the mystery of God, and gratitude for all of God’s gifts. As today’s scripture says, “Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.”

At the end of the workshop, the officer who sang to God gave me an inscribed copy of the songbook.  He was the author.

I went to the academy to give a workshop. I left with a book of songs to worship God.  It was a good day.

Reflection Questions:

  1. In your own worship, what most touches, moves, fills, challenges, and blesses you?
  1. I invite you to write a song of praise to God. What do you want to say—even sing!—to God?
  1. Our God is worthy of praise.  How do you worship and praise God daily?  And if you don’t yet do so, how could you?

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