While attending church one Sunday morning, I felt an overwhelming desire to praise God. A group of young musicians were standing near the front singing a modern and upbeat style of music, yet when I looked around, very few people were praising God. The majority of the congregation was sitting in the pews with a bored expression on their faces. Others were holding songbooks, but their lips were barely moving. I could hear a little muttering sound coming from those behind me, but other than that, it seemed that no one had any desire to praise God.
The call to worship (to enter his courts with praise – Psalm 100) was so strong inside of me, yet all around I could feel a stiffening spirit of hesitation. After service when everybody hurried to leave, I found myself wondering why the majority didn’t enjoy singing praises to God. According to Sacred Scripture in John 4:23-24, Jesus says, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
An authentic form of worship is more than making harmonious melodies; it is a function of the heart. The Holy Spirit, who resides within every baptized Christian, wants to join together with our spirits when praising God with all of our hearts, souls and strength. Authentic worship is an outpouring of love for God, a total adoration and desire to encounter more of God. It is an all-consuming fire of devotion, a depth of gratitude beyond human expression.
One way to light the fire of worship within your heart is to start praying the Psalms. Pope Francis, cardinals, priests, bishops, deacons, and other members of religious orders have maintained a tradition of praying the Psalms for thousands of years. This form of worship can be enhanced by inserting several names, attributes and characteristics of God into your prayers when acknowledging God’s presence.
For example, when praying the Psalms you can enhance the word LORD with King of Glory, merciful and mighty Savior, O Great Lover of my soul. The next time you pray the same verse, you can elaborate on the word LORD with King of Glory who was crucified on my behalf, nothing is too hard for you, or any other combination of praise that’s dear to your heart. This enhanced form of worship has the ability to take you to a new and exciting dimension of richness and depth.
If you or your congregation would like to enter a deeper form of worship, Valentine Publishing House has a 32-page prayer book entitled Heavenly Praise & Worship. Not only will this priceless gem (that costs $1) help you pray the Psalms and worship God in ways that you never imagined, it also has the power of open the floodgates of heaven—so that you may receive the fullness of God’s abundant blessings in all your endeavors.