What are your thoughts when worship comes up in a conversation? Do you only think of the music? Is it the preaching? Most of the time, the focus regarding worship tends toward music. There are different elements that make up a worship service. Music is only one part of a bigger picture. There are many manners in which we show our worship to God. In this section we will take a look at five individual elements that gives the worshiper a fuller experience in the worship service. These things encompass the following: Singing, Praying, Preaching, Giving and Communion. Let us first start off with singing.
Here is a story about Sam, a new Christian, as he attended a church retreat. The very first activity at this event was singing worship songs. Sam was very intimidated with singing out loud. However he sings more confident now.
He sings louder. That is because of this weekend Retreat. At this retreat the worship leader encouraged everyone to do more than mutter the lyrics to the songs. The worship leader at this retreat taught everyone to do more than mumble the lyrics. He said, “The Lord has given you a voice to sing praises to Him. It’s now time to offer it to Him. If you sing well that is terrific, but if not it’s time to get even!”
Encouraged by these word Sam sang. Awfully! But though the years he discovered the only way to improve was to practice. The difficulty was the only place he could rehearse was during the church service.
It took a while for Sam to gain confidence by focusing on the One he sang to. He did not worry how he sounded. This switch in view made him worship better.
Eventually, Sam purchased a songbook and began singing during His devotional time. The absence of music only highlighted his vocal weakness. But again, taking the focus off his singing voice and concentrating on offering the songs to God improved his experience.
The amazing thing is that Sam enjoys singing more than ever. Realizing that by elevating his voice to the Lord and listening others do the same is a most magnificent experience.
Most would agree that worship incorporates the act of singing. Singing is a physical action that all worshipers can do to express what is in their heart Sing though similar to talking is quite different. Perhaps the most unique thing about singing is the ability for an assembly of people to tell their worship in unison. It is singing as a group that we can express praise, gratitude, and thanksgiving. We can at the same moment communicate to God. An offering can be made by the church as a whole. Also singing can provide an emotional element to worship. Music causes several emotions and moods though melody and tempo. Music is a language all its own.
Let me tell you about a man took his son to lunch at a local diner. They went to the counter to sit on the stools. The dad lifted his son up to the seat at the counter. They ordered lunch, and when the waiter brought the food the father said, “Son, we’ll just have a silent prayer.” Dad finished praying first and waited for his son to complete his prayer, but he just sat with his head bowed for a remarkably long time. Once the son finished praying the dad had to ask him “What were you praying all this time?” The boy look puzzled and replied, “Not really sure what I was praying” “It was a silent prayer.”
A lot of our praying is like that. The words we use are empty. We call words to mind, but they are repetitious on insincere. Here is a revelation for some of you. When you pray you are simply speaking with God. One thing you must realize; God likes it when you speak to him. He wants a complete relationship. It is by Prayer that you are able to converse directly to God. Some elements of prayer can be a form of worship. It is by prayer that an open door of communication is established with God.
Prayer can be silent. It can be said aloud so that others can agree. You can even sing a prayer. When it comes to prayer I like to use the acrostic A.C.T.S. Each letter represents an important part of prayer. Here are those for parts of prayer:
- 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. It is at this time you tell God how much you appreciate and love Him. Affirming your love to him is important. How many times have you busted into pray by asking for stuff? A great way is to begin your prayer is to declare God in what ways you love Him.
Confession in Prayer
When you pray your heart needs to be in the right place. Face it humans are sinful by nature. Confession is a type of acknowledgment of what is truthful. Most often we confess our sins. God already know our sin. However we still need to confess them. God is always faithful to forgive the sins we confess. But I also want to bring another view to confession. This will produce a new dimension in your thought process. You can confess God’s greatness. You can confess your faith. Confess the truth!
Thanksgiving in Prayer.
God has abundant resources available to every Christian. God is in the business of showering you with blessings. The obedient thing to do is to thank Him for all the good things he does in your life. No matter the setting it is a good plan to thank God/
Supplication in Prayer
As I said earlier it is usual for Christians to pile on requests to God. God give me this, God give me that. Supplication is your petition for something. Prayer needs balance. Often times it is the supplication that Christians spend a bulk of time. It is okay to request. The Bible says to ask. But this should not be the focus. You prayers should be according to God’s will. Recalling these areas of prayer – Adoration, Confession and Thanksgiving before you request anything will put you in the correct attitude. Your supplication to God needs to be bold. He is a God of unlimited resources. Ask for things beyond yourself.
1 Timothy 3:16-17
2 Timothy 4:1-5
We need to learn the word of God. Preaching is a fundamental part of worship. This element of worship allows you to know about God. It is God’s desire that you know him. He wants you to grasp who and what he is. This is the key to His relationship with you. After all how can you worship or love someone you don’t know. This is why he has preachers.
Preaching is actually an opportunity to dive into God’s word the bible and learn more about who he is. You will learn how He operates. The meat of worship is in God’s word. Keep in mind the music not just a “warm-up” exercise. Each element is important for a complete worship experience. One complements the other as do all the other areas we are discussing in the section.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
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 hard to make a decision as to which gift to give. First, because I was young, my resources were very limited. So I had to pass on any gift that was too expensive. This did leave the playing field down quite a bit. But it became obvious that my parents already had quite a few items that they already owned. There were only a small number of things I could actually get. With God it’s a lot like this. God possess 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.
Money is the first thing most thinks about when the topic of giving comes up. Giving money to the church is an honor we all can do. But, I want you to also know that it goes beyond that. It is your entire life that God wants. You have the amazing opportunity to give all your resources to God. This comprises your time, your body, your mind and all your possessions.
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.
Christians experience one of the greatest privileges during Communion. This is a moment for true intimate relationship with Jesus. This is a time of oneness. It is time for the worshiper to bind with their Savior. It identifies the believer with Christ. Communion allows us to center on the greatest gift ever given to world. It is a moment 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 various sides to the worship experience. Each is as crucial as the other. The key for rich and fulfilling worship is balance. As you balance these five components in your worship service, you offer more opportunities for the worshiper.