The national anthem is sung in every start of gatherings, such as sports events, national ceremonies, competitions, in schools, momentous occasions and memorials. Why?
Because it symbolises the peoples' traditions, belief, history and its identity as a nation. It is a proclamation of freedom and a declaration of victory.
Why do we sing praise and worship at church at the start of the service or any gatherings?
Not just as a tradition, it is also our identity. It is our belief based on the Biblical mandate and principle of the power of praise and worship (Psalm 150). When we start praising the Lord, it becomes the habitation of His Presence (Psalm 22:3). When we sing together, our full attention is set on Him. It allows us to magnify Him and to focus on His glory, majesty, beauty and perfection. And as we fix our eyes on Him and lift our voices, we host His Presence and He comes and fills us and manifests His Presence among us.
THE POWER OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Acts 16:25-26 AMP
25 But about midnight when Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 suddenly there was a great earthquake, so [powerful] that the very foundations of the prison were shaken and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
We think of praise and worship normally in relation to good things that the Lord has done. We praise Him when we have an answered prayer or we have received a breakthrough or promotion. We worship Him when we feel blessed and as a response to a blessing. When our praise and worship is only limited to that, it becomes self-centered. True worship is Christ-centred. His worthiness is the focus. It is not just for what He has done but for who He is. Consider the Bible passage above. How can Paul and Silas sing praises to God in the middle of a situation like that?
What motivated Paul and Silas to worship God?
They have accepted the Lord and they have found their identity in Christ
You can only have a true relationship with God once you encounter Him and surrender to His will
Ex David – a man after God’s own heart – Psalms 63:1
Deuteronomy 6:5 – And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
John 3:16 – I am a sinner and in need of a saviour
Begins the moment you realise you need Him
Rev 3:20 - Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
WHAT ABOUT US?
Is it enough that we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour? Do we always go to our secret place where we devote time to commune with Him and as our relationship grows deeper in love with Jesus our worship grows as well. Do we worship Him just for what He gives or for who He is.
Paul and Silas worshipped Godby obeying what God has commanded them to do.. The songs were response to His goodness and a greater joy they found in serving Jesus.
Ex – Abraham - Gen 22
Noah –Gen 6:14;22
Jesus – the perfect example of obedience, not my will but Your will be done – Luke 22:42
HOW ABOUT US?
Bat ako? (Why me?) Do we find excuses to respond to God's call? Or will we find resources to fulfill it?
Obedience is the key to unlock God’s promises – Deut 28:1-2
Obey no matter what the outcome. Paul and Silas were praising God for the privilege to be serving Him.
Difference between Praise and Worship
Praise – is an expression of approval or admiration. We can praise God and we can praise people
Acknowledgement and appreciation of what He has done for us and who He is to us
Worship – Greek word – Proskuneo; Hebrew word – Shachah ; to lay prostrate or kneel face down on the ground; ovation
Expression of adoration and reverence – John 4:23-24
It is only reserved for God – Ex 20:3
Paul and Silas worship with the assurance that the presence of God is with them
At midnight (symbolising darkness - trials and hardships) we can worship God and believe that He is still good and has a plan for our lives.
Chains can break and prison doors can shake when we worship Him in the midnight hours of our lives. We can praise Him in the storm!
Ex – the story of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego – Daniel 3:22-27
Earthquake – Acts 16:26
King Jehoshapat – 2 Chron 20:22-25
Joshua – Joshua 6:15-20
WORSHIP should be the posture and resolve of our hearts instead of complaining or whinging. Whinges will not change anything. It just feeds on unbelief and negativities that the enemy inserts in our thoughts. The best way to win the warfare of the mind is PRAISE and WORSHIP. The enemy is silenced when we begin to praise the Lord. If we experience pain and suffering, and we begint to sing praise, God releases His power, open the prison cells and breaks every chains, bondage and shackles in our lives.
If we want to experience the manifest power of God, let us worship Him with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength as we continually desire to grow in Him by cultivating a deeper:
- RELATIONSHIP (intimacy; bond; communion; communication; time with the Lord)
- OBEDIENCE (being faithful in what He has called us to do; having the
- ASSURANCE that His presence will continue to go with us and always having a fresh
- REVELATION of who He is and the things He has done
And as we ROAR, the people around us will be able to experience the SALVATION that comes from the Lord. The enemy trembles at the sound of God's people singing His anthem of PRAISE and WORSHIP! This is how we fight our battles!
QUESTIONS for DISCUSSION:
What is the significance of Praise and Worship in a Christian's life? In our Chruch?
How has praising and worshipping the Lord empowered you and edified your life?
Discuss the Key Passage. Why did Paul and Silas sing in the prison cell?
What happened in the middle of their Praise and Worship?
Why is (a right) worship (of GOD) not possible without relationship with Him?
Can we worship God without obedience? Why?
How does Assurance of faith and fresh Revelation from His Word fuel our worship?
How is Praise and Worship a gesture or posture of spiritual warfare?