The Christian Spiritual Discipline of Worship

Worshipers Pray
Worshipers pray the rosary at a Catholic church in Baghdad, Iraq.

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The spiritual discipline of worship is not the same as the singing that happens in church on Sunday morning. It is a part of it, but worship as a whole is not just about music. Spiritual disciplines are designed to help us grow in faith. It's like working out, but for our beliefs. When we build up the spiritual discipline of worship, we grow closer to God by responding to him and experiencing him in all new ways. But watch out, worship comes with its pitfalls if we're not careful how we approach it.

Worship Is a Response to God

God does so many things in our lives, and when we build up worship as a spiritual discipline, we learn to identify what He has done and honor him in appropriate ways. The first step it to give glory to God for all things in our lives. When we have privileges, they come from God. When we are bountiful, it comes from God. When we see something beautiful or good, we need to thank God for those things. God shows us His ways through others, and by giving Him the glory, we are worshiping him.

Another way to respond to God is to sacrifice. Sometimes honoring God means giving up things we think we're enjoying, but those things may not be edifying to Him. We give our time by volunteering, and we provide our money to help those in need, we offer our ear to those who need us to listen. Sacrifice doesn't always mean grand gestures. Sometimes it's small sacrifices that allow us to worship God in our actions.

Worship Is Experiencing God

The spiritual discipline of worship sometimes sounds hard and almost sad. It's not. When we develop this discipline, we learn that worship can be beautiful and occasionally fun. The obvious form of worship, singing in church, can be a great time. Some people dance. Some people celebrate God together. Think of a recent wedding. The vows seem very serious, and they are, but it is also a happy celebration of God connecting two people. That's why weddings are often a fun party. Think about the fun games you play at youth group that connect you to one another in God's house. Worshiping God can be both fun and serious. Laughter and celebration is also a way to worship God.

As we practice the spiritual discipline of worship, we learn to experience God in His Glory. We easily identify His works in our lives. We seek out our time with God in prayer or conversation. We never feel alone, because we always know God is right there with us. Worship is an ongoing experience and connection with God.

When It's Not Worship

Worship tends to be a word we use rather easily, and it has just become a way we discuss our admiration for things. It's lost its pack and punch. We often say, "Oh, I just worship him!" about a person, or "I worship that show!" about television. Usually, it's just vocabulary, but sometimes we can fall into worshiping something in a way that teeters on idolatry. When we put something else above God, that's when we lose sight of true worship. We end up going against one of the important Commandments of "You shall have no other gods before me," (Exodus 20:3, NKJV).

Developing the Spiritual Discipline of Worship

What are some things you can do to develop this discipline?

  • Set a time every day when you read your bible and pray.
  • Attend a small group through your youth group our church.
  • Get to church early to pray on what you're going to experience there.
  • Learn to make a good decision when in tough situations.
  • Examine your daily routine to see what is honoring God and what you put before God.
  • Find uncommon places where you can worship no matter where you are.
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Your Citation
Mahoney, Kelli. "The Christian Spiritual Discipline of Worship." Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, Mahoney, Kelli. (2020, August 25). The Christian Spiritual Discipline of Worship. Retrieved from Mahoney, Kelli. "The Christian Spiritual Discipline of Worship." Learn Religions. (accessed January 25, 2021).