What is worship?
The English word “worship” comes from two Old English words: weorth, which means “worth,” and scipe or ship, which means something similar to position or quality. We see -ship used often in English — friendship, horsemanship, sportsmanship. And we easily understand them to mean the quality or position of being a friend, sportsman or horseman.
Given that, we can define worship as “worth-ship,” or the quality of being worthy or having worth.
So, in essence, when we worship God, we are saying that He has worth. God is worthy.
We praise Him.
From Webster’s 1828:
worship: verb transitive
1. to adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration
2. to respect; to honor
3. to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission
worship: verb intransitive
1. to perform acts of adoration
2. to perform religious service
I think it’s safe to say that the intransitive act of worship is born out of the transitive one.
Most of us worship or praise God in one of two ways — in speech or in song. It’s no wonder since the Bible is filled with examples of worshipful words and songs of praise.
Today, I want to share some of my favorite worshipful Scripture verses. These are the ones I go to when I want to just praise God. Sometimes I just read them silently, other times I read them aloud or pray them back to Him. These are all acts of humble worship that I believe God adores.
God calls us to worship Him. According to 1Peter 2:9, we are created for the purpose of praising God. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6).
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25-26)
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! (Psalm 103:1)
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. (Isaiah 25:1)
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! . . . For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised . . . Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (1 Chronicles 16:8-10; 23-25; 34)
There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100)
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:1)
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. (Psalm 59:16-17)
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
My sweet friend (and sister from another mother), Candace, over at His Mercy is New is writing a series all this month titled, Praying the Scriptures for Your Family. I encourage you to go subscribe to her blog and receive her daily emails this month. Candace writes often about praying the Scriptures. I know you will be blessed to read her humble words. You’ll also want to take a peak at Praying the Psalms. Candace is an amazing inspiration when it comes to worshiping through praying Scripture.