Praise & Worship

John 4:19-24  The woman said to Jesus, “…Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”


1.   We were created to worship God. 

  • Ecclesiastes 12:13; Matthew 22:34-38  
2.   God is not seeking worship as much as He is seeking the worshiper. 
  • John 4:23-24  …for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 
3.   Worship is different from praise. 
  • Praise is born in faith.  It is an instrument of war, and a way of creating an atmosphere for the Presence of the Lord.  Worship is born from the womb of relationship.  — Judson Cornwall
  • Worship in the Old Testament is Proskuneo: To kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to prostrate oneself (literally or figuratively); to reverence to adore
  • Worship and praise in 2 Chronicles 20:15-24
4.   Worship is not music. 
  • Liturgy and music can assist a worshiping heart, but they cannot make a non-worshiping heart into a heart of worship.  The danger is that they can give the appearance of having worshiped.  The crucial element is not the outward form but the heart.
  • Worship is expanded through music.
  • Music unites worshipers and sets the atmosphere for worship.
5.   Worship is an attitude of the heart. 
  • Israel developed an elaborate system of worship and could do so without the heart.  Isaiah 29:13
  • Worship is an attitude of reverence, awe, and submission to God for who He is.  It is not a passing emotion.
  • The essence of worship, when we gather together, is not the physical prostration as much as the flattening of the human will which rises to assert its own dignity, ignorant all the while that our highest dignity will be the nobility of entering the Presence of the King with worship, thereby giving place for His glory to dwell in our midst.  — Pastor Jack Hayford
  • Worship is an attitude which recognizes the superiority of Christ and our dependence upon Him.  Joshua 5:15
6.   Worship is our love to God expressed. 
  • It is a love response to a relationship.
  • Worship causes the worshiper to be more interested in relationship itself with God than what may come out of that relationship.
7.   Worship is centered on the Person of Jesus Christ. 
  • It is His Person, not His performance that is the object of our worship.  We worship the King, not the Kingdom.
  • He is worthy to be worshiped because He restored us to a loving relationship with the Father.
8.   Worship involves prayer. 
  • Prayer maintains the “life flow” of our relationship with the One whom we worship.
9.   Worship is enhanced by personal expression. 
  • Sameness is not the goal of a corporate worship experience.  We all express our love in differing ways, and those differences will lend flavor and color when allowed to be blended together.
  • Those who are leading us in worship should never worship as a “surrogate” for the congregation.
10.   Worship is eternal. 
  • It was in effect before Adam.  As long as there has been Heaven there has been worship.  When we worship we touch the eternal.
11.   Worship is a celebration. 
  • The worshiper enjoys God.  Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  
12.   Worship is a lifestyle. 
  • Romans 12:1-2 
  • We worship because we are worshipers.  Worship flows from a worshiper no matter where he or she is.  
1.   Audible 
  • Psalm 51:15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
2.   Singing 
  • Psalm 147:1  Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
  • Ephesians 5:18-20 — Psalms: Songs sung from Scripture.  Hymns: Songs of joy or praise, songs of our forefathers.  Spiritual songs: Songs of the Spirit and in tongues, spontaneous songs to the Lord.
3.   Lifted Hands 
  • Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.
4.   Musical Instruments 
  • Psalm 150:3-5 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
5.   Bowing down, kneeling 
  • Psalm 95:6-7 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.
6.   Clapping 
  • Psalm 47:1-2 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.  How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!
7.   Dancing 
  • Psalm 149:3-4 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.  For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.
  • Choreographed Dance — Psalm 68:24-26 Your procession has come into view, O God, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.  In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the maidens playing tambourines…
8.   Shouting 
  • Psalm 47:1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
  • Psalm 66:1-2  Shout with joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!

Keyed to Strong’s Concordance

Psalm 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving (Towdah) and his courts with praise (Tehilla); give thanks (Yadah) to him and praise (Barak) his name.

1.   Halal (1984) 

  • To be clear (transparent) or shine, to laud, rave, celebrate glamorously, loudly foolish, to make a show.  Used 113 times in the Old Testament 24 times with “JAH,” or “Hallelujah,” the spontaneous outcry of one excited about God.  This praise is offered in delight and rejoicing.  Most occurrences are plural, involving choirs, instruments, speaking (Jeremiah 31:7), singing (Psalm 69:30) and dancing (Psalm 149:3).
  • Psalm 22:22  I will declare your name to my brothers in the congregation I will praise you.
  • The entire Psalm 150 uses this word.  Also 2 Chronicles 20:21; Psalm 18:3; 69:69:34; 102:18; Revelation 19:1, and many more!
2.   Yadah  (3034) 
  • To confess, praise, give thanks, to use the hand, throw, revere or worship with extended hands, to throw out the hands with rejoicing.  “Yadah” was predominantly used to express public proclamation and declaration of God’s attributes and works including a confession of sin.
  • Confessing God’s Truth in difficult circumstances: Psalm 42:5-6  Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God,  for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.  
  • We can declare praise to God publicly and with intensity:  Psalm 111:1  Praise the LORD.  I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
3.   Towdah  (8426) 
  • Confession, extending the hands in adoration, lifting the arms with hands cupped inward, a choir of worshippers, the sacrifice of praise and thanks, a vow.
  • Psalm 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving (Towdah) and his courts with praise (Tehilla); give thanks (Yadah) to him and praise (Barak) his name.   
  • Also 2 Chronicles 29:31; Nehemiah 12:31-40; Psalm 42:4; 50:23; 69:30-31; 107:22; Isaiah 51:3
4.   Barak  (1288) 
  • To kneel, praise, salute, bless: To endue with power for success, prosperity, fertility, longevity, etc.  To expect in hope.  This word is used 289 times in the Old Testament.
  • Psalm 103:1-2, 20-22  Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits…  Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.  Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.  Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion.  Praise the LORD, O my soul.
5.   Shabach  (7623) 
  • Praise, commend, a shout, proclaiming God’s (unashamed) with a loud voice, triumph, power, mercy and love to God, to address in a loud tone.
  • Psalm 117:1-2  Praise (Halal) the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.  For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
6.   Zamar  (2167) 
  • To touch with the fingers parts of a musical instrument, to pluck a stringed instrument, to celebrate in song and music.
  • Psalm 33:1-3  Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.  Praise the LORD with the harp;  make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.  Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.  
  • 2 Samuel 22:50  Therefore I will praise (Yadah) you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing (Zamar) praises (Tehilla) to your name.
7.   Tehilla  (8416) 
  • A hymn, praise, praise worthy deeds.  This word, used 57 times in the Old Testament, comes from the root “Halal,” defined earlier.  Tehilla brings in the idea of singing extemporaneously, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  “Tehilla is that which births and blesses the Name of the Lord.  It is the song that the Lord sings in the midst of His church.”  Leonard Gardner
  • It is spontaneous – Psalm 40:3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
  • God dwells in the spontaneous praise of the believer – Psalm 22:3  Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
  • Tehilla is the the praise of victorious warfare – Psalm 149:6-9  May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.  2 Chronicles 20:22  As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

Our worship of God is determined by our attitude towards God. Attitude determines the decisions and actions we take.  Attitude is similar to Paul’s use of the term “mind” in Philippians 2:5, when he said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”  By examining Isaiah 6, we will gain a better understanding of the mind or heart that should be in us, and how that affects our relationship with the Father.

1.   Praise & Adoration  (v. 1-4) 
  • The first attitude of worship is adoration expressed in praise and gratitude.  Adoration, which is a spirit of reverence and awe, is the starting point for all genuine worship. We do not praise God if we do not love him and express that love to Him.
  • Psalm 33:1  Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting (beautiful) for the upright to praise him.  Also Psalm 100:1-5
  • Psalm 63:2-4, 67:1-5, 103:1, 107:1-2; 150:1-6; Revelation 4:11
2.   Confession of Sin & Forgiveness (v. 5-7) 
  • Isaiah conducted a self-examination and realized he was in sin. Once he realized his sin he confessed his sin before God, and was cleansed.  Once we realize our sin we must confess it before God.  True confession includes the acceptance of God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9)  It is important to accept God’s forgiveness so that we can enter further into worship if God.  If we do not accept forgiveness then we cannot be made clean, and we can go no further into God’s Presence.
  • Isaiah 30:15; Acts 3:19; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 John 1:9
3.   Hearing God’s Word  (v. 8a) 
  • God did not speak to Isaiah until after he had confessed his sins and received God’s forgiveness. The Word of God is Holy and we must have our hearts cleansed for the Lord to speak to us through his Word.  Hearing also involves the attitude of anticipation. Do we anticipate hearing God’s Word?  Do we really desire His direction for our lives?
  • Nehemiah 8; Luke 13:44; Acts 13:42
4.   Surrender & Obedience  (v. 8b) 
  • Worship involves the attitude of submission or surrender.  After Isaiah heard the Word of God, he responded in complete submission.  Romans 12:1-2 shows that worship and our obedient response to His Word are truly one and the same attitude! 
  • Matthew 6:10, 26:39; Luke 1:38; Romans 6:13; James 4:7

Enter his gates with thanksgiving (Towdah) and his courts with praise (Tehilla); give thanks (Yadah) to him and praise (Barak) his name.
Psalm 100:4  

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