If you are looking for advice about how to worship God, congratulations because you’re on your way to being a great worshiper.
What do I mean? Worship takes effort and it’s the fact that you’re seeking out the right way to worship is a really, really good sign. Hebrews 11:6 says God rewards those who diligently seek him.
So get ready to be rewarded for your efforts.
Wondering How to Worship God?
Some of you visiting this post are new Christ-followers wondering how to get started worshiping.
It’s really quite simple, and there’s no magical formula. Worship is simply speaking, singing, or doing something that honors God. Here are some practical ways to worship:
- Speak words that describe how great God is, out loud. Tell Him he deserves your praise and honor.
- Read scripture aloud. A good passage to start with is Psalm 145.
- Sing worship songs and hymns to him. Click here to go to my Worship Now page. There is a brief instruction on worship with singing, plus Youtube videos that will get you started.
Read on for a deeper dive into the Bible’s instructions on worship.
How to worship God with Music and Singing
In the Christian subculture, the word “worship” is almost synonymous with music. While music is certainly one way to worship, it’s only a piece of the puzzle.
Still, it’s an important piece. Here’s how the Bible tells us to worship in song.
Psalm 150 – Praise God with every instrument imaginable. There are no unholy instruments.
Psalm 98 & 149 – Worship God with a new song. Why? Because we get so accustomed to old songs they often lose their meaning and the emotional power they once had.
Worship songs have a natural progression as they age: Brand new, new enough to be engaging yet familiar, really familiar, and overused. The goal for a church is the right mix of familiar and new, while trying to phase out overused songs.
Psalm 149 – Praise God with other worshipers. Gather together in a church, living room or even at a park. There is power when you worship in community.
Psalm 98:4 – Worship God with a loud, joyful shout. The Hebrew word can mean a war cry. We’re talking loud.
Psalm 33:3 – Play and sing well, in a pleasing and appropriate way. The KJV translates the word “skillfully” but that’s somewhat misleading. I don’t think the BIble shuns beginners from worshiping.
The Hebrew word translated “skillfully” first appears in Genesis 4:7 when God tells Cain if he “does well” he will be accepted. I don’t think God was upset because Cain wasn’t very skillful at offering his sacrifice. There was some wrong attitude in play here. This is just to say that you don’t have to have a great voice to worship, just a great heart.
If your voice is bad, stay in the congregation and off the stage at church. You will blend in with the rest of the voices and sound terrific. After leading worship thousands of times, I can only remember one or two times when I noticed a bad voice in the crowd (mostly because that voice was abnormally loud and it was an acapella part of the song). Somehow a crowd of mediocre singers with good hearts sound really good together.
Biblical Examples of Worshipful Body Posture
Bowing down – this body position is perhaps the most biblically-based way to physically worship. It’s fairly rare in today’s church, but maybe we should see more of it.
The Hebrew word shachah appears over 170 times in the Old Testament. Bible translaters render this word both “worship” and “bow down”. In the New Testament, a similar Greek word – “proskyneō” – shows up. It also means to bow down. I don’t think God requires us to physically bow down every time we worship. But he does want us to worship him with a bowed heart and attitude – every time.
Dancing – In 2 Samuel 6, King David danced exuberantly, even to the point of making a complete fool of himself. His own wife ridiculed him. Yet God was quite pleased.
Clapping hands – In Psalm 98:8 the rivers clap their hands. If rivers can do it, so should we.
How to Worship God with your Life
Going beyond musical worship, the Bible talks a lot about worshiping in other ways.
The Bible calls us to live a life of worship. In Romans 12, Paul the apostle tells us our worship includes offering our bodies as living sacrifices. This is a curious term so let’s take a closer look.
In the Old Testament, when the Jewish people displeased God, they killed animals in substitution for their own lives. Needless to say, those animals were totally committed to the process. They had no use except for sacrifice. No one could say, “I’ll use this ox for a sacrifice, then I’ll use it to plow my field.”
In the same way, worship is committing our lives to Christ’s purpose. Live with willingness to go where God calls, no matter what the price.
Worshiping God with Daily Decisions
The commitment includes honoring God in our activities and responsibilities. This is a life-long quest. It could mean things like…
- Not surfing the internet at work.
- Putting extra time into that paper for school.
- Saying hello to someone you don’t particularly like.
- Giving up a Saturday to help a neighbor move.
There are all sorts of unglamourous opportunities to worship God. But He loves it when we are faithful in these small things.
Luke 19 talks about a guy who was given one bag of money, and he turned it into ten bags. He ended up ruling ten cities. God does truly reward those who worship him in insignificant matters.
How to Worship: As Individual as You Are
This blog post could go on forever trying to tell you how to worship. But each person worships a little differently because they are an individual with a unique skill set and personality.
Paul sums it up in 1 Corinthians 10:31 when he says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (NIV)
Want to worship God now? I encourage you to click here to go to my Worship Now page. It will give you a brief instruction on worship and an opportunity to worship by simply playing a Youtube video.
I would love it if you signed up for my worship newsletter. I’ll send out helpful tips on worship and music. Sign up below.
Tim Lucas has been leading worship for more than 20 years around the Pacific Northwest, USA. Starting as a worship leader at the age of 15, he has been able to minister in youth groups, camps, churches, and as far away as Australia. Tim now leads worship at his local church and lives in Washington State with his wife, Laura, and two kids.