Our worship of the true God

By Not Known

Worship is a central Christian activity and will be our focus right through October.

What is worship? Someone has defined worship as: … anything that recognises that God is God and that we are not. In this sense, worship is taking our place in the world under God, rather than separate from God.

Others draw attention to the vocabulary of worship. Key Biblical words for worship have the sense of lying flat on our face, prostrate before God. This is a worthy physical symbol of our sheer creatureliness before our creator. Once again, it is an acknowledgement that he is God and we are not.

This wide sense of worship corresponds to Paul’s word that we should … offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship (Rom 12:1). Indeed, our acts of personal and corporate worship mean nothing unless matched by a hearty acknowledgement of God as God in the whole of life.

Our special interest today is in personal worship. Formal worship is primarily a corporate act as we gather together with God’s people, but there is also a personal sense.

What is personal worship? It is when we make personal time to draw close to God to acknowledge who he is, to learn from him and to speak with him. This will inevitably include a meditative reading of the Bible and a time of prayer. Some find helpful to spend some of this prayer in a prostrate position (acknowledging creatureliness), kneeling (seeking God’s mercy and other blessings) and standing (dedicating themselves to go and be active for God). Those with good voices may add singing.

Many find that such personal acts of worship are an important discipline to re-centre their lives on God, amidst the thousand things that distract us from him. Some Christians adopt the habit of scheduling personal worship in the morning to start the day on the right note, a brief midday pause to re-focus and an end of day time to reflect, confess and lay any anxieties on God before sleeping (Ps 55:17).

However we do it, let us all make private time to … be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10) and to follow the example of Jesus who slipped away for his own time with God (Mk 1:35). Dare we do less?