Worship is an integral component of the Christian faith…but why?
Does God need our words of affirmation?
Does He somehow require gratitude and praise? Throughout the Bible we are commanded to praise the Lord and give Him thanks. We are to tell others of His wondrous works. But this is not because God somehow craves our joyousness. Rather, worship is genuinely a tool for our benefit. It is both a natural outpouring of our feelings and a means by which we draw nearer to the throne of God.
Perhaps it helps to consider the children we work with, and our interactions with them. When we give a student praise, we are generally trying to boost their esteem and confidence. Sometimes we even may stretch the truth of our opinion in effort to encourage kids. On the other hand, think of a childlike approach to praise. When youngsters adore and compliment elders, it is usually out of genuine (even if sometimes misplaced) admiration. Perhaps they carry some altruistic aims or ulterior motives when they rave over our abilities or how we are the greatest teachers ever…but normally kids give us praise out of authentic amazement. They are enthusiastic and excited because they believe adults are capable and they are thrilled with the things we can do.
So maybe we can take a more child-inspired look at praise. It is not necessarily a command given by God for His own sake, but for ours. As C.S. Lewis describes in Reflections on the Psalms, “we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment…”
We should be happy to worship God. We should be so overwhelmed by the beauty of what He does and who He is that we cannot help but offer our adulation. We are not giving Him compliments because He needs them, but because we need to express our devotion. If we truly love and delight in our Heavenly Father, praise should be a method to enhance and increase that sentiment. Our dwelling in His presence is not based on emotion but who we are and who He is. This is not always an automatic or simple matter. But with words of supplication to God, even for motivation to praise or love Him, He will respond. Thank God!
Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord. -Psalm 150