When worship is mentioned what come to mind? It is the music? Is it the message? Even though most of the focus regarding worship leans toward music. It is important to remember that there is more to a worship service that just the music portion. There are several ways in which we express our worship to God. In this section we will take a look at five different elements that gives the worshipper a fuller experience in the worship service. These items include the following: Singing, Praying, Preaching, Giving and Communion. Let us first start off with singing.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Most would agree that worship incorporates the act of singing. This is a physical action that allows worshippers to express though songs what is their heart. Even though singing is using our voice, it is quite different than just talking. Perhaps the most unique thing about singing is the ability for a group of people to express their worship in unison. With singing a group of worshippers can corporately say to God their expression of praise, gratitude, and thanksgiving. Everyone can at the same time communicate to God. An offering can be made by the church as a whole. Singing can provide the worshipper with a greater ability to use emotions. Music has the most unique property to create moods and emotions though the various combinations of melody, tempo. Music is a language all its own.
Matthew 6:7-15 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Prayer is simply communication with God. This you need to know; God wants to hear from you. He wants a full relationship. Prayer allows you to talk with God directly. Some elements of prayer can be a form of worship. Prayer is the door of open communication with God. Prayer can be silent, it can be said aloud so that others can agree. It can even be sung to God. When it comes to prayer I like to use the acrostic "ACTS". This stand for four important elements of effective prayer. These are the four elements:
A = Adoration
C = Confession
T = Thanksgiving
S = Supplication
Adoration in Prayer
Take some time at the beginning of your prayer to offer adoration to God. Tell Him how much you love and appreciate The Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is so important to affirm your love. So often Christian blast into prayer by asking for things for themselves. A better way is to start our and tell God in what ways you love Him
Confession in Prayer
Your heart needs to be in the right place when praying to God. Face it humans are sinful by nature. Confession is a form of acknowledgement of what is truthful. Most often we confess our sins. It is better to confess that to let God "find out". If we confess our sins he is faithful to forgive us. But I also want to add another perspective to confession. Something that can add another dimension to the attitude of confession. That is to confess the greatness of God. Make confessions of faith. Confess the truth!
Thanksgiving in Prayer.
God has abundant resources available to every Christian. He desires to lavish you with all that he has to offer. The polite thing to do is to thank Him for all the great things he does in your life. Thank God for everything and every circumstance.
Supplication in Prayer
As I said earlier it is common for Christians to heap on the requests to God. God give me this, God give me that. Supplication is your request for something. Prayer needs balance. Often times it is the supplication that Christians spend a majority of time. It is okay to ask. The Bible says to ask. But this should not be the focus. You prayers should be according to Godâ€™s will. You will find that if you offer Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving prior to your supplication, you will be in the right attitude to ask for those things that are pleasing to God. Be bold in your supplication to God. He is a God of unlimited resources. Ask for things beyond yourself.
1 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
We need to hear the word of God. And it is important to note that even the preaching is a form of worship to God. God whatâ€™s you to know him. He wantâ€™s you to know him intimately. He wants you to understand who and what he is. This is key to His relationship with you. After all how can you worship or love someone you donâ€™t know. This is why he has preachers. Preaching is really an opportunity to dive into Godâ€™s word the bible and learn more about who he is. Learn how He operates.
In regards to worship the music is not the warm-up to the message. Both are vital to the whole worship experience. One complements the other as do all the other areas we are discussing in the section.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Okay, with all your heart mind and soul you are to give. The Christian life is not about receiving it is about giving.
Growing up at Christmas time it was our family tradition to get gifts for everyone in the immediate family. I would get gifts for mom, dad, brother and sister. Oftentimes it was difficult to make a decision as to which gift to give. First, because I was young, my resources were very limited. So I had to eliminate any gift that were too expensive. This did leave the playing field down quite a bit. But it became obvious that my parents already had quite a few item that they already owned. In reality there was only a few things that I could give. It is like that with God. God owns the universe and everything in it. But one thing that we can give is our worship to Him. This is one thing that He really enjoys from his people.
The first thing most people think about when the subject of giving comes up is money. Yes it is true that giving money to the church is a privilege we all can partake. But, I want you to also know that it goes beyond that. It is your entire life that God wants. You have the awesome opportunity to give all your resources to God. This includes your time, your body, your mind. When you give to God all the resources available to you, it is at that time a true sacrifice of praise and worship.
Matthew 26:26-29 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
Communion is the greatest privilege a Christian can experience. This is a time for true intimate relationship with Jesus. This is a time of oneness. It is time for the worshipper to bond with their Savior. It identifies the believer with Christ. Communion allows us to focus on the greatest gift ever given to mankind. It is a time to remember that Jesus death on the cross is the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Bringing it all together
As you can see there are many facets to the worship experience. Each is as important as the other. The key for rich and fulfilling worship is balance. As you balance these five elements in your worship service, you provide more opportunities for the worshiper.
This article is an excerpt for the new book by John Pape, Jr titled "Building a House of Worship" For more information on how you can get your copy of this book go to...
SPECIAL NOTICE: Please feel free to publish this article in your e-zines, newsletters, on your website or in your book. I only require that you publish the Resource Box and the end of the article.
Copyright John Pape Jr.
About the Author
John Pape is a songwriter and author who live is beautiful southern California with his wife and two kids. He recently published a new e-book titles "Building a House of Worship". He has also written several praise and worship songs for Christian Worship leaders to bless the people they serve with new songs. For more information go to http://www.mediatunes.com