Monday, March 14, 2016

Praise and Worship

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs (Psalm 100:1-2).


Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name (Psalm 100:4).

Our Expression of Gratefulness to God

We have re-worked the article on praise and worship and the Lord wanted us to re-emphasize the importance of praise and worship. Now, in this article we will not treat praise and worship as two separate forms of adoration. We need to note that in reality, praise and worship are almost interchangeable words. For all practical purposes we would omit adding the various praise and worship expressions used in the Hebrew language.

Praise and worship are no new topics; in fact it is foundational to the Christian experience. The purpose of us being created and called into service is to have fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father (1 John 1:3). This fellowship is expressed through prayer, praise, thanksgiving, worship, obedience and service to others in honour of God (Psalm 63:3-4; Nehemiah 9:5-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Praise and worship is an expression of homage, adoration and thanksgiving to God either in prayer or in song and accompanied by various expressions of joy (Exodus 15:1-2, 20-21; Psalm 35:18; 63:5; 150:1-6; Hebrews 11:21). Believers praise and worship to God because of who He is and what He has done. The Bible commands all living things to praise and worship the Lord, both individually and collectively (Ezra 3:10-11; Psalm 34:1-3; Psalm 117:1-2; 135:1-2; Acts 16:25; Psalm 69:34; Psalm 96:11-12).

Forms of Praise and Worship

Singing: We must sing to Him, sing praise to him; tell of all His wonderful acts (1 Chronicles 16:9, 23, Psalms 68:4; 9:2; 13:6). Scripture exhorts us to sing and God is our audience; this is an eternal act of worship (Psalm 89:1).

Dancing: “Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.” (2 Samuel 6:14 NKJV).

Playing Instruments: “Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! (Psalms 150:3-5 NKJV).

Clapping our Hands: When we clap hands we show appreciation to someone for something they achieved or accomplished, The Lord deserves our applause for He has accomplished everything for us. “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy” (Psalm 47:1 NIV).

Lifting up our Hands: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord (Psalm 134:2-3; Psalm 141:2). As it is, lifted hands were used when taking an oath before the Lord (Genesis 14:22).

Shout to the Lord: We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God (Psalms 20:5; 66:1; 81:1).

These are but a few expressions of worship to the Lord.

The Benefits of Praise and Worship to the Believer

Personally, I experienced first-hand how praise and worship lifted me up from the brink of despair and discouragement to joy and celebration in the Lord. I have seen how my attitude changed from sadness to excitement, from heaviness of heart to light-heartedness.

In recalling a few Biblical examples, Paul and Silas were delivered and set free from their chains and prison because they praised and worshipped God (Acts 16:25-29). Another example: King Jehoshaphat received a great and decisive victory against the Moabites and Ammonites as they went out to war praising the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:13-30). In addition, the prophet Elisha called for a harpist and as he was playing the hand of the Lord came on Elisha and He prophesied God’s message to the Kings of Israel and Judah promising great victory and deliverance (2 Kings 3:15-27).

How Praise and Worship Changed Our Lives Individually and Ministry

As a ministry, the Lord has commanded us to set one day aside per week to worship Him and what a blessed time of relaxation, peace and comfort to enjoy in the Presence of the Lord. With praise or worship music playing on the background we simply give expression to our love for God. The Bible says, the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) and this is very true even of worship and praise music when we join in that spirit. The Lord told us that praise and worship music invites His Presence.  There is no need to have a live band to express your adoration to the Lord. The experience and spirit should be the same even if we worship from recorded music. In worship, God is looking at the content of our hearts and our attitudes. Now, we might not know all the words of the various songs, our heart's attitudes and words of love to God gives powerful and voluminous expression.

Through our weekly worship sessions, many of us have personally experienced deliverance, healing and blessings which was an answer to our prayers. Brethren, it is very important to dedicate a church service just to praise and worship for this is the Lord's meeting for the needy, sick and demonically oppressed. We have had many people both saved and unsaved experiencing deliverance and healing during our worship services. We can truthfully, testify that some people would convulse, scream and violently shake as a result of the Lord freeing them from demonic oppressions during worship services. During these deliverance times, each one of us minds his own business with God as He deals with each one of us individually. At times, we had to continue worshipping for more than 5 hours as some brethren would still be experiencing deliverance.

Additionally, as we praise and worship the Lord, He promises to deliver us and to minister to our needs (Acts 16:25-34). The Lord has revealed to us that when we are faithful and sincere, He will prune us and give us spiritual gifts and fruit of the Spirit (John 15:2-8). Therefore our praise and worship must be focused on God and not just on the songs that make us feel good. The Church my family and I attended before we were called into the ministry, had a live band. As in many churches and modern Christian concerts, I noticed that many of the people reacted to the beat of the music and the changing tune or vocals of the lead singer. In awe and excitement of the music, people would unfortunately sort of worship the singer and instead of worshipping the Lord God.It is true, some churches attract membership through their live bands, fleshly beats, and the spirit of entertainment, which is what some people are after. However, the Presence of the Lord is hardly evident in such places. This kind of fellowship is a feast for the Sunday Christian - a feel good experience. We should ask, was God pleased with your worship experience or did you just feel good about the content and beat of the music? Praise and worship must exalt God, not people or the devil.

Let me tell you, we had a sister in our fellowship who would get so excited by the beat of some song that she would get up and dance. This the Lord revealed that her excitement was to the song and not to the Lord; the Lord also revealed that during our worship sessions some people 'dose off' in their minds and start thinking about their fleshly lusts and problems. He rebuked some of them for their lack of energy and sleepy attitude. Naturally, we might feel tired and exhausted if praising and worshipping for more than an hour; it is advisable to sit for a few minutes and to stand up during worship. This prevents the body from becoming too relaxed while we are giving free expression to the appetite of our souls of worshipping the Lord. In our worship sessions, it has always been a soulful experience when we close our eyes. This exercise removes distractions and gives greater focus on our worship experience and the result of God's Presence is often overwhelming. As we worship, the experience is fuelled by an increasing joy, this is worship in its true sense - spirit and in truth.

Do we recommend our church format for praising and worshipping God to you? Yes! If the Lord delights in us and blesses us with His Presence, it should benefit you as well. As an individual member of the body of Christ, strive to live a life of personal praise and worship, and victory and deliverance would be certain!

In the beginning of our online ministry, many believers were blessed, excited and touched by our articles. The Lord has showed us that many of them have become lukewarm with a fading endurance and they have become selective of what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3-4). If that is YOU, WAKE UP!

So, have you become lukewarm and are you been selectively reading what only appeals to your flesh? Do you not delight yourself in the Lord? Have you not been praising and worshiping God in joyful adoration? Here is a Prayer of Sincere of Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Your Brother in Christ,

Brother Glenn.