2. Things we can do in general when we gather
Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his
footstool; he is holy. (Psa 99:5)
Worship = to bow down before and lift up
Worship is the ultimate expression of our love for God - lifting Him
Worship is not merely singing (which can just be a pleasurable self-centred
thing) but a true lifting of heart and spirit in a sense of glorifying
or lifting God, accompanied by this sense of wanting to bow before Him.
Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God,
you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. (Psa
Praise = to applaud someone for a quality they have, to exalt them
We praise someone usually for a character they have or something they
As we praise, the Holy Spirit affirms the truth of what we are saying
or singing and that witnesses in our heart and lifts a sense of the
greatness of God (and our smallness perhaps) and we truly start to worship
- bow before, and exalt Him.
Praise can therefore be used to lead us into real worship.
I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:
You have given me wisdom and power (Dan 2:23)
Thank = show appreciation for something given or done
We usually thank someone when we are aware that they have given us
Thus thanks in respect of God is in respect of all that He has given
Similarly, as we thank, the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) testifies
within us to the truth of what we are saying or singing and this releases
a sense of exalting or lifting God and this is worship.
Thanks can therefore be used to lead us into real worship.
NB. We could also include ‘Asking' in terms of things we can do
when we gather, but that is different from the things we've included
here which are all ‘toward God', i.e. included in our thinking
about the process of worshipping.
3. How we can do it vocally
Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things (Psa 98:1)
Singing may be an expression of praise or thanks leading to worship.
Singing can be a good vehicle to release our spirits as we declare truth.
The emphasis should be on leading into worship, not being an end in
Shout to God with cries of joy
Shout = a forceful expression of praise or worship.
Shouting requires an effort and bypasses our 'respectable' facades,
and somehow releases both something in our spirit and in the spiritual
iii) Crying Out
Then they cried out to the LORD. The priests
blew their trumpets and the men of Judah raised the battle cry (2
Chron 13:14 ,15)
Cry out = a forceful request or a forceful declaration
Similarly crying out requires an effort and bypasses our 'respectable'
facades, and somehow releases both something in our spirit and in the
In the worship context, crying out is a strong recognition of the need
of God which the Holy Spirit sometimes uses to release a sense of the
greatness or awesomeness of the Lord's presence.
iv) Calling On
But I call to God, and the LORD saves me
Call = to appeal loudly
Calling out to God is a similar recognition of need, and the Holy Spirit
can take it and release again the sense of the Lord's greatness and
power which produces worship.
NB. This time we have included vocal expressions that may appear requests,
but in this context they are expressions that involve lifting up the
Lord by the very nature of them, and therefore, we believe, can come
into our considerations of worship.
4. How we can do it Bodily
Never used of worship, praise or thanksgiving in Scripture.
Possibly this is because it is a passive act.
The desire to be an active participator in worship will get us off our
seats, the only exception being those confined to wheelchairs!
All the men of Judah , with their wives and
children and little ones, stood there before the LORD (2
Standing = a passive presenting of self before the Lord, waiting on
Standing, on its own, is a preliminary act to a more expressive act
The fact is that in every other area of life we use all of our body
to express ourselves (hence 'body language'). Simply standing is non-expressive.
Worship is released within expression.
iii) Bowing Down
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel
before the LORD our Maker (Psa 95:6)
We bow as an active expression of worship, acknowledgement of superiority.
Kneeling is a good expression of submission, but for those of us who
are getting older, may be of limited duration!
Clap your hands , all you nations
To clap = to applaud, give praise to, to extol
This is not clapping along with the music but a specific expression
Somehow the active expression of a 'clap offering' breaks us out of
the rigidity of what we so often do, and it is the natural response
of appreciation in our society anyway.
v) Falling Down
Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he
saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn.
So he bowed low and fell face down (Num 22:31)
Falling prostrate = an act of humble submission
Lying face down can be a very real expression of submission in worship.
Although there may be rare occasions when the Holy Spirit comes upon
someone and they may fall before the Lord, this is usually an act of
will, an act of submission when the holy sense of the presence of the
lord is very real.
vi) Lifting Hands
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise
the LORD (Psa 134:2)
Lifting hands maybe a sign of:
awareness of holiness – almost a shielding from God's glory,
presenting clean hands – declaring righteousness,
reaching up – recognizing the need to draw near,
testifying – affirming our position, agreeing the truth being
Lifting holy hands is a very simple thing to do - even if it appears
difficult if you've never done it - and once the fear barrier is broken,
the active use of arms and hands is a most natural thing to do.
From what we've noted above, we have said that we can EXPRESS worship:
such ways we can add variety and, hopefully, meaning to our act of worship.
NB. As we consider the possibilities of things we can do as congregations,
we need to conclude with the following exhortations for youthful, exuberant,