When you hear the word “worship”, what comes to mind? A solemn meeting of serious individuals? People clapping their hands and singing with abandon? Or something else? Depending on how you were raised, you may have any number of preconceived ideas on ways to worship God.
The truth is that there are right and wrong ways to worship God. But our actions aren’t the main criteria. It all starts with our motives and intentions.
So are you ready to consider ways to worship God? If you are a beginner, you should find our discussion helpful.
What does worshipping God mean?
According to Meriam Webster’s Dictionary, the most basic definition of worship is to love and honor someone or something very much.
We can worship all kinds of things.
Teenagers often “idolize” or worship a pop singer.
Many wealthy people value their accumulation of possessions and bank accounts above all else.
Athletes often worship the Olympic gold that they hope to win.
Nature is another thing that is often worshipped. In the Bible, many people worshipped the sun, moon, and stars. There were also fertility gods and harvest gods, to name a few. These practices still exist in parts of the world even today.
So what does it mean to be true worshipers of God? In the simplest terms, it is to give greater love and honor to God above all other things or people.
What does the Bible say about worship?
The Bible from beginning to end is full of verses that talk about worship and all things related to it. The following Scriptures are ones that use the actual word “worship” in them.
Old Testament Scriptures about worship
“All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Psalm 66:4 ESV
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Psalm 95:6
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;” 1 Chronicles 16:29
” … Praise (worship) him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals … ” Psalm 150:1-6 (explanation added)
New Testament Scriptures about worship
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
” … worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Revelation 14:7
Jesus spoke numerous times in the New Testament about worship.
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
“And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” Luke 4:8
What worship is and is not
Scripture is clear that our actions alone do not equal worship.
” … this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me. ” Isaish 29:13
” If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3
We can sing all we want, chant prescribed readings, and give money to the poor, but if it does not include our heartfelt love or worship of God, it is worthless.
What is true worship?
Jesus said we are to “worship in spirit.” Therefore, true worship comes from within us as prompted by the Holy Spirit who lives in every Christian.
Jesus also said we are to worship “in truth.” Since Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), our acts of worship are directed toward God.
We worship God the Father for His great mercy and grace, God the Son (Jesus) for His great love, and God the Spirit for teaching us all things Godly.
Ways to worship God
Probably the best way to assess who or what we worship is to determine who or what occupies the greatest amount of our time, money, and thoughts.
Our priorities are the first of many ways to worship God.
Does that mean if we spend a great amount of time with our family that we worship them above God? That depends. If God is part of our time with family then we can still be worshipping God.
Most common ways to worship God
- Bible reading and Bible study
- Quiet time just thinking and meditating on what you have read or what God has done
- Being part of a group that is centered on God and His priorities (corporate worship in a church, care group etc.)
- Singing and worship music
Ways to worship God at home
Worship does not have to be in a church building. It also does not have to be on Sunday morning. Our Heavenly Father is more concerned about how we worship rather than where we do it.
Our daily lives are to be filled with praise and adoration for Almighty God.
Many people are home-bound for one reason or another. While Bible reading, prayer, and worship songs are part of corporate worship, they each can also be a form of worship at home.
Since the worldwide health scare began in 2020, most churches have gone to online as well as in-person services. Many also offer Bible studies online.
You also can find many good Bible-based groups on Facebook. Many have online Bible Studies. Others have daily inspirations that direct your attention to our LORD. A few that I like are:
- Pray with Confidence
- Women Growing in Joy
- Girls in the Word
- Butterfly Living
- Bible Verses For You
- She Finds Hope
Creative ways to worship God
Sometimes you have to get a bit creative to worship God.
We know that God is the source of all good things (James 1:17). Furthermore, He gave us the same ability to create beautiful things for the glory of God. You may not have discovered this yet about yourself, but it is there.
We were created in the image of God. So while the following might be new ways for you to recognize the presence of God, these too are expressions of worship.
If you are a musician, writer, artist, or other creative, thank God for these abilities. Praise and worship him through what you do. I have a friend who paints. In her abstract art, she always finds a way to include a hint of the gospel. She has had many opportunities to share Jesus at her art shows.
Being out in God’s creation is another way to worship God. There are so many intricate details. If we take the time to observe the tiny nuances, we will realize that the God who made all of it also cares about the details of our lives. For that alone we can worship Him.
If you can’t get out in nature because of physical limitations, YouTube has excellent nature videos that can lift your spirit in admiration for our Creator God. Nature scenes with gentle music are great!
Keep A Journal
Think of a journal entry as one of your many prayers to God. It can be an avenue for praise and gratitude.
It also gives you a way to quantifiably see growth in your life over time. Spiritual growth is another reason to praise and thank God.
Turn problems Into praise
At first, this may seem like a hard one. So let me give you a couple of examples:
- When I hate to pull weeds, I have learned to thank God that I still have good health and am able to do this activity when many other people my age can not.
- When I had a fender-bender (small auto accident), I was thankful that I was not injured.
Instead of focusing on the problem, which many times we can not change, we focus on God who can change everything into something good (Romans 8:28).
It is a sacrifice sometimes because it is hard at first to turn problems into praise. We have to choose to do it even if we don’t feel like it. This truly is genuine worship.
“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.” Hebrews 13:15
When things are not going well, praise acknowledges that God is still good and can be trusted.
We all live somewhere and we can make it a place of worship, reflecting the good things God has given to us This decorating does not have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a sticky note on your bathroom mirror with a Bible verse.
One of the most creative ways that I have decorated will never be seen by anyone.
When my little apartment was being remodeled, I painted Bible verses on the cement floors before the workers put down the tile. Those verses were my way of giving my home to God and making Him a priority within those walls.
Jesus said His mission on earth was to serve and not be served (Luke 22:24-27). He gave up so much to serve us and restore our relationship with God the Father. He was never thinking of Himself.
Even when He was on the cross Jesus was thinking of others and their needs. He instructed His brother to take care of His mom who was hurting emotionally.
Jesus also looked at the crowds and said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
When we help others in even small ways, we are following Jesus’s example.
When life is particularly hard for us, serving others takes our minds off our problems and how we feel. It truly is a pleasing sacrifice to God.
How to worship God in everything you do
Everyday life is where the rubber meets the road.
Our entire lives should be an act of worship. Each day, each breath, and each heartbeat are gifts. God is worthy of our worship in everything we do.
On the Job
Many of us spend a great deal of our time at a job. Even in this setting, we can worship God.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
Jobs are one of the ways that God provides for us. Therefore, when we work we are serving Him.
Every Christian should pray just before they go to their job to be a good representative of Him and shine God’s love and kindness to those around them.
In The Mundane And Unexciting
Can you worship God when you are brushing your teeth? Absolutely.
Our teeth are a gift. We can eat a variety of interesting and tasty foods because of them. And they make our smiles inviting while validating the worth of those we meet.
Thank God for your teeth, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.
Take a few minutes to think about your everyday moments.
If you look close enough you will find simple ways to praise God. This truly is contemporary worship where you think outside the box.
In Sickness And In Health
We all agree that our health makes it possible to worship God in many ways.
But what about when our health deteriorates? Can we still worship God in those moments?
When we feel bad, are hurting, can hardly breathe, and so many other maladies that plague the human race, we still can worship God. He is the one that walks with us in those difficult times. He will never leave us.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
Every one of us will eventually pass through the waters of sickness or accidents and move from Earth to Heaven if we know and love Jesus.
If you are in this difficult place right now, the verse above says It will not last forever. We will pass through it. Our destination is on the other side.
Thank God for the glorious home that is waiting for you. Thank Him that you will see Jesus face to face with no more tears and no more pain.
I would encourage you to read Donna’s story. Though in heaven now, she left a great legacy with lessons to ponder.
Another encouraging story is from the musical band, Tenth Avenue North. They walked through troubling waters when one of their spouses was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, a 30-year-old with 3 young children.
Final Thoughts on ways to worship God
There are many effective ways to worship God, but true worship is not what we do. Instead, it starts in our spirit with our attitudes, motives, and priorities.
So what should our priority be? We should put God first in everything.
Our daily life is the most powerful way to worship for God’s glory. When the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted, we fulfill the Scripture to worship in spirit and in truth.
This is the right way to worship. God’s people owe it to the one who gave His life so that we can have forgiveness of sins.