Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Ezra 8:5-6
There is nothing in my life as important or needed on a daily basis than worship. I am a worshiper.
It is in worship that we draw near to God with joy and gratitude for what He has done for us in and through Christ Jesus. Worship expresses faith, love and devotion from our hearts and with our lives to God the Father and to the worthy lamb who was slain for our sins.
I believe there are two key principles in worship. First, true worship takes place in spirit and truth. It takes place in God's revelation of Himself. It involves our spirit, not just our mind... but a deep connection with our very soul! Second, worship should follow the NT pattern for the church... we are to desire and seek all elements of worship found in the NT. The gifts of the Spirit are at work in our worship.
Much of the OT worship involved sacrifices. Today, since Christ served as our once and for all sacrifice, there is no need for further shedding of blood. As the NT church we are encouraged to "continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - confessing His name (Heb 13:15) and to offer our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom 12:1).
All throughout the scriptures singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs were primary ways to worship. That is still in tact today. There is so much music available to us today. Many of the worship songs and hymns can bring us directly before the Throne of God easily. It should be a sweet offering to Him. But I personally believe that we need to hold all music to a standard. It must be in agreement with the scriptures and relevant in drawing people to HIM and not overtly about US. (I could write a whole paper on that one thought.)
What about prayer as a part of worship? Of course... it is a huge part of our worship!!! I admit this was preciously instilled in my life during my church bodies recent 21 day fast. I spent more time on my face in prayer to the Father than I have in a long time. I'm not proud of that... but I believe God wonderfully accepted my prayers and drew me to a keen understanding of how very important it is to be on a daily basis.
I believe a prominent part of our prayers need to be spend in thanksgiving and adoration. God wants to know our heart and our needs, but we do not need to just go before Him constantly with a "we want" list. Spend some time reading and meditating on the Lords Prayer. It is the most beautiful example of how we should pray!
Worship consists of reading the scriptures. Even in the OT the people were commanded to assembly every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles to publicly read the Law of Moses. And here we come to the least talked about act of worship... tithes and offerings. Yes it is worship! We are to give to the Lord what is His... none of it is really ours.. He enabled us to work, gives us the gifts to do things for monetary gain... but in the end it is all His. It is a definite act of worship to our Lord.
Our NT worship is wonderful and amazing... even more so than in the OT maybe. Why? Because we have been given the gift and the gifting of the Holy Spirit. The gifts and manifestations given by the Holy Spirit brings our worship to a higher level. Our job is to keep seeking Him and going higher and higher!!!
There's just something about our worship that brings us closer and closer to the Savior! Isn't worship wonderful!!! I love to worship, to enter into His presence, to sit at His feet, and to feel His love just radiate over me. There is nothing more wonderful than this.