There’s nothing like worshipping in a large group of people, but if we’re waiting for Sunday church to roll around each week, we’re missing out on how to worship God the rest of the week. Worship is the act of expressing awe, reverence, and thankfulness towards God. The bible has a lot to say about it, and many of the examples don’t even involve music. This post lays out five biblical examples of acts of worship that relate to our everyday lives.
Romans 12:1 says we worship by offering our daily lives to God
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the semantics of how to worship God, but this verse makes it clear that choosing to live our lives by following God’s word and offering ourselves to Him is the ultimate act of worship. However, it can be complicated to work out what that means. To make it easier, try asking yourself these questions:
- What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?
- Am I living in my calling?
- Do I treat people the way Jesus would?
- Do I live with integrity?
- Am I listening to the Holy Spirit’s nudging each day?
Analyzing our answers to these questions can give us insight into how we worship God and how we could do it better. Perhaps you are doing exactly what you feel God is calling you to do, but you don’t have time to spend with Him each day because you are so busy. Or, perhaps, you spend time with God daily and listen to the Holy Spirit, but you have a short fuse with those in your life. Often, the most challenging time to worship God in our every day is when life isn’t going well. That’s where this next verse can help.
Acts 16:25-26 says when we worship in hard times, chains break
“About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once, all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.”
Just imagine being the other prisoners in those cells. Paul and Silas have been thrown into prison for casting a demon out of a woman. It’s unfair and a pretty bad situation. Most people would react with anger, but Paul and Silas chose to shift their focus and pray and worship instead. A few of the prisoners were probably laughing; some would have rolled their eyes, maybe a couple would have been intrigued. Imagine their shock when the walls fell, and the chains broke off.
As Christians, people are often watching how we react when life doesn’t go according to plan. Perhaps you’re going through a divorce, or someone you love has cancer, maybe someone has even died. There’s a temptation to turn inward, ask why me, and let our negative emotions build up. When we choose to take our eyes off our challenging situations and worship, even if it’s through our tears, the power of that situation in our lives breaks.
Later in this chapter, Paul and Silas’ jailor gives his life to God because they didn’t just leave when their chains broke. Our own stories of worship in hard times can change lives too.
What do you need to bring to God today?
Mark 14:3 says God considers our giving worship
“While [Jesus] was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on His head.”
The woman in the story wasn’t an upstanding citizen. Luke 7:37 says she was living a sinful life. Despite this, she didn’t let her shame stop her from coming to Jesus. This jar of perfume was the woman’s most precious belonging, and she chose to use it to adorn His head—what a beautiful way to worship Jesus. The bible says those present rebuked the woman, but Jesus replied saying, “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me.”
When we give our time, resources, even our thoughts, and mistakes to God, He considers it an act of worship, and sometimes that won’t make sense to those around us. How does this look in practice? Worship can be through giving our money in tithes or to those who need it. It can be through giving our time in servitude to others, or it might even be giving up something that doesn’t align with our lives as followers of Christ. When we give God things precious to us, we say, God, you are the most essential thing in my life. While worship can be done through giving, it can also be done through thanksgiving, as the next verse demonstrates.
Colossians 3:17 says we worship God when we thank Him
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Similar to the previous point on our lives being a living sacrifice, we worship the Lord when we live our lives in thankfulness to God. How often do you stop to thank God for your life? For the house you live in, your loved ones, even the air you breathe. Thankfulness is worship because it places the glory for everything in our lives in the right place. When we bring our thanks to God for all the little and big things in our lives, contentment settles in our spirits. We can worship Jesus through our gratitude for what He did, dying on the cross for our sins.
What are three things you can be thankful for today?
Psalm 95:6-7 says we worship through singing
“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker; for He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.”
We couldn’t have a whole article on worship and not include singing, and the ultimate example is King David. Before King David was a king, he was a lowly shepherd boy. David spent his days tending sheep all alone in the fields. He had plenty of time to worship God, and the book of Psalms is a beautiful testament to that. Even the word Psalm means a sacred song. These days we are lucky enough to have whole playlists of worship at the tap of a finger, but we can still follow David’s lead and make worshipping from our hearts part of our every day. If you’re not sure how to get started, try setting aside a few minutes in the morning to worship. It can be when you first wake up, part of your devotional time, or even in the shower.
If you need help with a playlist, check out this one by Martin Smith on the Glorify app Waiting Here. Push play, sing, pray, worship the Lord. Close your eyes and think about what the words are saying and what you want to say to God.
No time alone? No biggie! You can even worship in a crowd. Just plug in your headphones and sing your heart out in your head. Whoever said we have to sing out loud.
To sum it up, practically anything we do in life can be worship if we do it as an offering to God. We can worship through our daily lives, our thankfulness, our giving, how we behave in the tough times, and of course, through singing. What’s essential is the reverence and awe we feel in our hearts.