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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, December 30, 2013

Praise and Worship

Praise and Worship

Before I start, let me preface this by saying that these are photos I found on the Internet. I don't know any of these people personally and cannot judge the condition of their hearts. I was merely looking for visual aids, a visual picture of what I'm talking about. I tried to be careful not to show anyone's face.

What is real praise and worship? When we go to church se say we are attending the "worship service". But what does it mean?
If we think it means pulling out the hymnal, looking up the page number and following the "worship" leader by singing, then sitting back down and listening to a soloist and finally repeating some prayers that are written in the prayer book we may be missing the whole point!

If we think it means having a professional, slick, entertaining, sound-board, light-show musical entertainment we are missing the point!

All the matching outfits, Barbie doll clothes, Ken doll hair cuts, well modulated harmonies, dentist smiles, professional musicians make up an entertainment band and not the praise and worship that God wants. The singing may be professional and beautiful but it's about as meaningful as dry dust. Those smiles they shine when they turn and look at each other and then up to the ceiling are about as real as billboard signs. The pretty faces and makeup, the hairdos and fancy, sequin clothes are about as deep as paint on a barn. It's entertainment. They aren't leading you to worship God, they are leading you to pay them some attention and think they are great! It's about pride and self. They are only too happy to present their talent and their pretty faces and their canned "testimonies" in order to get their egos stroked. They want to be stars!

I sound harsh don't I? I'm so tired of fake, canned entertainment full of self and pride. My heart hungers for true worship, true praise, true communion with God. I like going to my local church where I know those people around me. Of course, I can't know their deepest heart and what goes on day to day but I know them as much as a community can know each other. I know if they are up on that stage because they really want to lead others towards God or they want their egos stroked by the clapping, whooping audience. I like to close my eyes and get alone with God. The best way to do that is for the Praise and Worship leaders to lead us (point the way, show us the way, go there first) to God and that place where we commune with Him. I may be in a congregation full of people but, for that time, I'm alone with God in my heart. Then I worship and praise Him with everything that I have, spontaneously. It may be that I fall on my knees or on my face, or shout with praise, jump up and down, wave my hands, tears falling down my face or laughter, dancing, rejoicing...whatever! It's just me and God! The Praise and Worship leaders lead us to that place and provide the evironment of music and song lyrics. But mostly by their own example, they show us how to worship freely and deeply.

If all they do is lead the choir and tell us which hymn to turn to, they are just musical artists and not true Praise and Worship leaders. Of course, we must always know they are human beings just like us. They have their sins, their faults, their bad days. And musical people can have an artistic temperament that God has to work on. Just like us, they aren't perfected yet and God has to draw out pride, pettiness, temperamental moodiness just like He has to draw out our sins and work us through to the other side. If you are stuck with worship leaders like that, it's up to you to take yourself to that place of communion with God despite the worship leaders.

Psalm 69: 30
I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 95: 1-2
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Colossian 4: 2
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

Psalm 9: 1-2
I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

Psalm 33: 1-3
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the Lord with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

Psalm 40: 3
He has put a new song in my mouth-Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.

Psalm 98: 4-6
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.Sing to the Lord with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.

Psalm 111: 1
Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

Psalm 150 :3-6
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!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Hebrews 13: 15
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Nehemiah 8: 6
And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

Psalm 95: 6
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

1 comment:

janet connor said...

well said!

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