In my last post I invited us to the idea of worship outside of the common music driven approaches. I poked a little fun at how we tend to do it currently but at the same time I acknowledged that music is a unique and wonderful gift and I don’t intend to diminish how important it can be.

I reminded us that worship is also for introverts and that we can do it in a variety of ways according to our talents and personalities. I may not have said it explicitly but my intention was to simply invite you to worship God.

Worshiping God is the exclusive privilege of those who are seeking God or are hungry for God.

Not worshiping God means we worship something else. You know … an idol.

Worship takes us out of ourselves and correctly re-orders our world by bringing us into personal contact with the object of our ‘other’ hunger. False worship is a temporary and self-centred high while true worship is lasting and wholesome. It brings peace, well-being and a place of importance in a massive universe.

Christian worship is a bit unique in that it is naturally joyful and exuberant because it celebrates a God who is alive, personal and over everything. Ours is a faith of victory and hope which is why music is such an inviting medium to use. Joyful singing, dancing and hand waving are all through the pages of Scripture, so enjoy! Soulful, heartfelt songs are also important, or as Bono put it in Magnificent, ‘I was born to sing for you’.

Which brings us to the meditative aspect, which is often overlooked. Quiet worship asks for our thoughts and our deepest selves in a way that we aren’t used to in a shallow world. Meditation is slow and purposeful as we listen for our Creator with all our inner senses.

However worship isn’t just in an inner vacuum, there is also a practical part. It helps clear our vision as to what is important in life and we leave our worship more enlightened, engaged and purposeful.

So let me throw out some brief thoughts about worship off the top of my head. I’ll bullet them so I don’t get too bogged down in the details and end up writing all day:

  • Yes, we can worship with music:
    • There are memorable moments in my life when God spoke to me through music in a large crowd or a small group or by myself (I still recall the first time I heard the hymn And Can It Be? at a large Sunday morning gathering, fully instrumented with harmonies flowing around me. I was forever moved);
    • Cheryl cranks up the worship music (and I mean cranks up) when she does her daily treadmill walk. It is her time alone with God;
    • I’ve already written that playing guitar and singing unleashes some of my most meaningful moments;
  • We can worship through the Bible:
    • It can be used to prove a point of view (bad), as an object of study (good), or it can be a sacred access to God (best);
    • We are to approach the Bible accepting that it was written by humans but honouring that God has preserved its wisdom to point us to Jesus;
    • Open your heart and mind to allow God to speak through it, not just academically but as a worship.
  • We can worship with our activities:
    • Our hobbies.
      • Like to cook or entertain? Practice hospitality;
      • Like to do arts or crafts? Teach them, share them, donate them;
    • Our service.
      • Can you drive? Can you cut grass? Sew? Repair? Shovel? Clean? Etc.
    • Our work.
      • We can do our job with an attitude of doing it well for God and for those around us;
      • We can share skills from our training: advise or serve on boards, committees, etc.
      • Community or church volunteering.
    • Our experience.
      • Do you have wisdom or experience that someone can use? Maybe you can help someone else.
    • Etc. etc.
  • We can worship with our prayers:
    • Sentence prayers: Simply say a sentence to God for any daily reason – to thank, to share, to ask. (I’ve started praying sentence prayers for every request I see on Facebook, Twitter, TV or any source, whether I know the person or not);
    • When falling asleep at night, go through your day and pray for any person or circumstance that comes to mind;
    • When you’re in the house or car alone, imagine Jesus is sitting with you and talk to him and listen.
    • Tell him you love him. Say those words even if you’re not in the mood.
    • Small thing I learned from someone dear to me – when praying, turn your hands, palm up. It is a position of humility and reception.
  • We can worship God with our thanks:
    • Thanking God for the smallest of our every day blessings deepens and expands our relationship;
    • Thanks positively affects how we see our world.
  • We can worship through meditation:
    • There’s a lot of misunderstanding around this but it is a deep Christian tradition;
      • It is the difficult discipline of emptying toxic or worldly thoughts from your mind;
      • Then centring your mind, waiting in silence and inner listening;
      •  Get comfortable, imagine Jesus with you, talk to him and listen for him;
    • Pray slowly through a Bible passage (Psalms or Jesus’ words), listening, waiting for each part to speak to you;
    • Pray to God gazing at a night sky, at an empty church altar, staring into a fire, or any place you feel at home.
    • If you would like some more information on Christian meditation, email me at

Be advised – worship is actually hard work. We’re not conditioned to be so upwardly and inwardly focused but you will find that the more you give yourself to it, the more meaningful it becomes.

More music… Can I invite you to find a moment to strap on the earphones and ‘magnify the Lord with me’ and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir?