(pp 49-51 of Spiritual Discipline Handbook)
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it- Psalm 118.24
Worship is most often associated with religion and specifically, the worship service. However, worship can happen beyond the weekly service and people who claim no religious affiliation can worship something. Worship reflects something or someone who we value and give meaning to and reveals what we see as important in our lives. People become obsessed in their lives with different things- sports, work, a celebrity, a TV show, a car, an appliance, etc. While it may not seem like we worship these things, we often find ourselves in a place of worship and idolizing. They are things that get us out of bed and give our lives meaning and purpose.
When we think of worship in Christian contexts, we most typically think of the Sunday morning gathering where we sing, pray, hear scripture, and listen to a message. And while this is an important display of worship, it’s not the only way we can engage worship in our daily lives. True worship, the worship God calls us to, involves putting God first in our lives. Putting God first includes acts like focusing on God during the worship service instead of thinking about what you need to do later. It means loving your neighbour and drawing near to God. It means caring for God’s environment and reading scripture. It means singing your heart to God and speaking to God through prayer. Worship is about seeking God to know him and love him in our own specific and meaningful ways.
What are some examples of Worship in the Bible?
1 Samuel 2
Knowing that worship is more than the weekly service, but things that we put value in and give our lives meaning, what are somethings you might say you worship?
How has your style of worship (in a weekly gathering) shaped your image of God?
When you think of the names of God, what name/image comes to mind? How does your image of God impact how you worship God?
What are some ways, beyond the weekly gathering, that you worship God?
How has worship brought you closer into relationship with God?
What act of worship connects most with you?
How does worshipping alone vs. worshipping with others help you in your life?
Go to your place (literal or metaphorical) where you feel most connected to God. Spend time there and reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness. This could be a literal place like a forest or beach, or it could be metaphorical such as listening to music or writing
Consider attending a worship service that is different than your regular community. After this, reflect on how a different faith community has helped you experience God
Think about a time when you’ve been deeply moved during a worship experience. Reflect on what it felt like and how it helped you draw closer to God.
Try a new act of worship- go for a long walk, pray with a friend, help a neighbour.
Spend time reflecting on what you worship. Make a list of people, places, things, that you value deeply. Reflect on how much time you spend with these things. Ponder what they say about you. Consider how much time you spend on other things vs. how much time you commit to your relationship with God.
Find an accountability partner to help you as you try new acts of worship.