The Importance of Worship

The Importance of WorshipWorship is one of the most crucial actions of our lives as Christians, so much so that its importance cannot be overemphasized. In discussing why worship plays such a vital role in our faith we need to clarify a few things, as many churches today are not teaching what it means to truly worship.

The confusion
In recent years, there has been a growing misconception and misrepresentation of what worship actually is. To some within modern day Christianity, the word worship refers to a specific portion of a church service. This generally revolves around singing songs that are meant to prepare the congregation for the pastor to speak. When correctly approached, this can very accurately be called a time of worship, but is just one small piece of a much greater whole. To others, the word “worship” is nothing more than the title of a particular music genre; and why not? You can usually find a Gospel/ Praise/ Worship section in most music stores, even if it is buried somewhere in the back next to the Kenny G albums. Still others may get a mental picture of people in an ancient culture, bowing and pledging service to a king. Oddly enough, it’s this last view that gives us the clearest picture of the true meaning of worship.

The meaning of worship
One of the simplest and most accurate definitions of worship is our natural response to the reality of who God is, and what he has done. The idea here is that when we compare ourselves to a being who can speak light and life into existence, we are faced with the totality of our inadequacies. We have no choice but to approach in complete humility and surrender.

The understanding that our lives were not made for our own glory, but, in fact, to honor our creator is not always a popular view. It requires us to accept, as a starting point, that we are not the center of the universe and that our needs and desires are secondary. So often, there is a tendency to make worship about us and how we feel, but to do this is to miss what worship is entirely.

To use the example of singing songs as an act of worship, sometimes people will say, “I just didn’t feel like singing today.” Does our mood alter or invalidate the holiness of God? Is he any less the God who created the world, and us in it, because we are preoccupied? Did he not die to save us and restore our relationship with him simply because we are upset? The answer to all of these is a clear and resounding no. He is holy and worthy of worship, regardless of our temperament.

Worshiping through light and darkness
Allowing our circumstances to dictate our worship doesn’t only keep us from getting closer to God; it can temporarily push us away from him. Surrendering your life and will to God can be the easiest thing in the world when everything is going well. When you have your health, when there’s no financial crisis, and the relationships you hold dear are flourishing, it’s natural to praise God.

The question is: will we continue to recognize God for who he is when we are walking through the dark times as well? What happens when you lose your job and you can’t afford to pay your bills? What happens when the people you love and trust fail you? What happens when you’re watching a friend die of cancer, and you suddenly realize just how hollow the words, “God works in mysterious ways,” can be? These are the moments that will either shatter or galvanize our faith. We can walk away, as many do, or we can accept that things will happen in this world that we will never understand. We must realize that God may not always allow the things we think he ought to, but he is still God nonetheless.

Relief in letting go
To choose to worship in these times is to say, “You are all that I have, but it will be alright because you are all that I need.” To come to this realization in the midst of trials is to know a peace beyond any and all understanding. The times when you have no choice but to rely on God for your most basic needs will be the times you feel his presence more clearly than ever.

Worship is not and was never meant to be relegated to a time slot in our week or in a church’s service plan. It is supposed to define every day of our lives; it is supposed to be the foundation from which every decision is made. We were created to worship, and we will never find a greater satisfaction than when we are fulfilling that purpose.

Rick is a freelance writer and worship leader, he blogs at and tweets at @letsmakeadeal26.

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