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Praise and Worship

 Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry

 

Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways


Chapter One

Introduction to Praise and Worship

 

1. Objectives of this Course

A. Give you a better understanding of the Biblical teaching about praise and worship.

 

B. Help you to enter into a personal experience of intimacy with God through praise & worship.

 

C. Encourage the church to see the importance of praise and worship, and to boldly follow the Lord's leading in this area.

 

2. Basic Truths about Praise and Worship

Discussion Groups:

What does it mean to praise God?

 

What does it mean to worship God?

 

A. Praise and worship are distinct, yet closely related activities

1. Praise is an outward expression of your love for God.

a. Praise is a choice.  You can choose to express your love for God at any time, and in any situation.  You can praise Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised to do.

 

b. Your praise can be addressed directly to God, but it is often directed to others around us, proclaiming His greatness and encouraging others to praise Him.  Praise can even be directed to the spiritual forces in the heavenlies, proclaiming the greatness of the true God.

 

2. Worship is your loving response to the manifest presence of God.

When you praise God, He will respond by manifesting His presence to you.  When you experience God's presence, you are able to respond directly to Him, and tell Him how much you love Him.  That response is called worship.  In worship, you experience intimacy with God, and express your adoration to Him.

 

B. Praise is the gateway through which we must pass to enter into the presence of God and worship Him.  If you do not learn to praise God as He wants to be praised, you will fail to experience His presence, and your worship will be lacking.

 

C. Praise and worship are the activities of heaven 

 

D. You are created to praise and worship God  -- Rom 12:1

When you give yourself to the activity of praise and worship, you are fulfilling the purpose for which you are made.  Because of this, the praise and worship of God brings a fulfillment and satisfaction that nothing else in the universe can bring.

 

E. It pleases God when you praise Him.

1. The Psalms tell us that He comes and manifests His presence in your midst when you praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people!

 

2. You can see the importance God places on this by the frequency of His exhortations in this area.  If you were to do a study of all of the exhortations in the Bible, you would find that the most frequent exhortation in all of the Bible is to PRAISE THE LORD!  (It is interesting that the longest book in the Bible is the book of Psalms -- a book of praise songs!)

 

F. It is important to God HOW you praise and worship Him. 

1. The example of the tabernacle of Moses in the Old Testament shows us that God has the right to be praised and worshipped as HE desires.  When the people chose to disregard His instructions and follow their own ideas and traditions, He was displeased!

 

2. If you are to praise and worship God, you must look to His Word to understand how He desires to be praised and worshipped.  You must study this subject with a commitment that you will do whatever He desires of us.  If God says that He wants you to stand on your head when you praise Him, you must commit to learn how to stand on your head!  (Fortunately, He has not made that request!)  You must allow God to instruct us about HOW you are to offer up your praise!

 

3        Fortunately, the Bible gives us very clear instructions on how God wants to be praised and worshipped.  In this course, we will look to see what those instructions are.

 

Praise and Worship

Spend time now praising and worshipping the Lord as a class.  Take plenty of time to do this.

 

Chapter Two

Biblical Teaching on Praise

 

1. What is Praise?

A. The definition of praise:  Biblical praise is the free expression of love and appreciation to God.

1. It is important that you love God.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment is that you love the Lord your God.  It is also important, however, for that love to be expressed outwardly.

 

2. A husband and wife may love each other, but if that love is never expressed, if there are no loving words or actions exchanged, their relationship is not good.  A general principle is:  When love is not expressed, it shrivels up and dies.  When love is expressed, it grows.

 

3. It is important for your love of God to be expressed outwardly.  That outward expression of your love for Him is PRAISE.

 

B. The expression of your love

 

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." -- Mk 12:30

 

1. Your heart.

a. This involves your emotions.  Some people are afraid to express their emotions, especially in church.  However,  people are emotional beings.

 

b. God created you with strong emotions and those emotions are a big part of who you are.  To withhold your emotions from God is to keep back from Him a very important part of you. 

 

2. Your soul.

a. This involves your will.  The decision to praise is a decision of the will.

 

b. You are not to only praise when you feel good.  In the Psalms you discover that David spoke to his soul even in the midst of despair and commanded it, "Praise the Lord, O my soul!"   David made a decision, an act of the will, that he would praise the Lord even if he did not feel like it.

 

c. Psalm 146 says, "I will praise the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to Him as long as I live!"  That is a choice!

 

d. Very often the times when you do not feel like praising are the very times you need to praise the most.  You need to decide to praise Him because He is worthy of praise, even when you do not feel like it!  When you do that, you are expressing love for God from your soul.

 

3. Your mind.

This involves your intellect.  This is important!  Some people express praise to God that has no meaning.  They just say, over and over, "Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord."  God wants your love to be expressed with your minds.  To praise God deeply, you need to express a real understanding of who God is.

 

4. Your strength.

a. This involves your body.  Jesus here was talking about the physical expression of praise.  In the Old Testament, there are seven different words for praise.  Each of these words describes a different type of physical activity.

 

b. Praise involves physical activity.  The Bible talks of David "praising God with all of his might." (2 Sam 6:14).  That is expressing love with your strength.

 

C. Why is Praise Important?

Eph 1:6,12,14 and 1 Pet 2:9 states that one of God's purposes for saving us is to be a people who would show forth His praises in the earth.

 

1. Praise aligns your heart to Him. 

Praise opens your heart to receive from Him.

a. Praise clears away the distractions.

Sometimes you just feel 'dull' spiritually.  Perhaps your mind is distracted, or you feel tired, or you are filled with concern about all of the things you have to do.

 

If you try to come to God like this for your devotional time with Him you find that it does not work.  Your mind is filled with so many other things that you cannot concentrate.

 

That is when you need to praise.  Praise aligns your heart to Him.  When you come before God with your total being to express praise to Him, all the distractions get swept away.

 

b. Praise builds faith.

Perhaps you are facing a problem.  There may be a physical sickness that is not getting better, or a financial crisis you do not know how to solve.  You would like to trust God for it, but you just do not have the faith.  You are worried because you do not see a solution.

 

The solution is to praise God.  You put your eyes on Jesus and start to fervently praise Him.  Praise Him that He is your Healer, and your Provider.  Praise Him for His promises and for His faithfulness.  As you do that, you discover that faith rises up within you.

 

2. Praise brings His presence.

When you praise Him; His presence is manifested in your midst, often in a very tangible way.  There are three levels of the presence of God:

 

a. His omnipresence.

This means that He is present everywhere, at all times.  There is nothing that is out of His control.

 

b. His indwelling presence.

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God is resident within you in a special way.  When you trusted in Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit of God took up residence in your heart.  He is always with you to comfort, to enlighten, and to teach you as you read His Word.  You may not feel His presence, but by faith you can know that He is there.

 

c. His manifest presence

1). God's presence is manifest when He chooses to make His presence known.  It is when He makes Himself tangible to you.  You experience Him.

 

2). When His presence is manifest, that is when you enter into intimacy with Him.  This is also when His power is revealed.  (Power is an outflow of communion with Him.)

 

3). When you feel His presence, He is there to heal, to comfort, to energize His gifts or to manifest His power.  If you want to experience God's presence, and see God work in power in your life, the solution is to learn to praise Him.

 

3. Praise defeats the enemy.

a. There are times when you know you are under attack.  Everything seems to go wrong.  Many times, it is just after you have made a step forward in your spiritual life.  Sometimes it is when you are just getting ready to begin a new area of ministry.

 

b. What do you do when the enemy attacks?  One solution is to praise God.

 

c. Example of Jehoshaphat:

The enemy came against him and it seemed like there was no chance of victory.  In 2 Chron 20:20-26 you see that Jehoshaphat sent out singers and musicians in front of his army, and they marched into battle singing:  "Praise ye the Lord, His mercy endures forever."

 

The Bible tells us that when God's people praised Him, the Angel of the Lord came and defeated the enemy for them.

 

d. Psalm 149:   The first six verses give us a beautiful description of praise, but in verse 7 and following, it changes to a description of warfare.

 

2. How is Praise Expressed?

In the Old Testament, there are seven Hebrew words used for praise.  Each one of these describes a specific way of expressing your love to God.

 

A. The Physical Expression of Praise.

1. Yadah and Towdah (to praise with lifted hands).

a. The first two words for praise are very similar in meaning.  They are Yadah and Towdah.  They both come from the Hebrew word that means "to extend the hand".  These two describe an expression of praise by extending the hands upward to God in adoration.

 

b. "Yadah" is the most frequently used word for praise in the Bible.  Most of the exhortations to praise use this word.

 

c. The lifting of hands is an outward expression of lovedependencysubmission, and appreciation.

 

d. When you raise your hands to God, it tells your mind that you are dealing with someone greater than you are.

 

2. Barak (To bend the knee in praise, to bow down before).

a. "Barak" describes an expression of praise that uses not just the hands, but the whole body.  It is the expression of praise by kneeling or bowing down to God.

 

b. When we bow down before God, we are acknowledging Him as our Lord, the King of the universe.  It is very appropriate to express our praise to Him in this way.

 

c. Your bodies were designed by God to be instruments to express His praise.  It is valid to stand, kneel, lift your hands, or fall down on your face before Him.  God wants you to be free to express your praise to him with your bodies.

 

B. The Musical Expression of Praise.

Music is spiritually significant for a number of reasons.  Music makes you sensitive to hear God (2 King 3:14-16), it communicates spiritual truth (Col 3:16), and if played under the anointing of God, it can drive away spiritual enemies (1 Sam 16:14-23).

 

1. Zamar (to praise God with a musical instrument).

a. "Zamar comes from a root word that means "to pluck strings of a musical instrument."  This word is used in several passages, including Psalm 135:3 and Psalm 147:7.  (This is the Hebrew word we get the word "Psalms" from.  The Psalms were songs to be sung together with instruments.)

 

b. The Bible indicates that the instrumental part of the music is important.  Psalm 150 exhorts us to praise God on string, wind, and percussion instruments.  The Israelites used all the instruments they had as instruments for praising God.

 

2. Tehillah (to express praise in song).

a. The word "tehillah comes from a root word that means "to sing."

 

b. It is used in such passages as Psalm 34:1-2.  "His praise (tehillah) shall continually be in my mouth" and Psalm 100:4, "Enter His courts with praise (tehillah)."

 

c. Not all singing is praise, even if you are singing hymns or praise songs.  Singing songs of praise becomes praise when you are singing to the Lord as an expression of love to Him.

 

d. In Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16, Paul describes three categories of songs to sing to the Lord.

1). Psalms - The Psalms are Biblical songs.  Even though we do not know the original tunes to the Psalms, we can take the words of the Psalms and set them to music and sing these inspired songs to God.

 

2). Hymns - Hymns are songs of praise to God that are not part of the Bible.  The modern expressions of praise we sing today, as well as the hymns written through the history of the church, would all be included in the category of hymns.

 

3). Spiritual Songs - Spiritual songs are songs given by the Spirit, for a particular moment.  They are a spontaneous expression of love for God.  There are two categories of spiritual songs:

a). Singing in the Spirit (1 Cor 14) - The singing of songs in tongues.  (If you speak in tongues, you can also express praise to God by singing in tongues.  Allow God to give you a melody and just let your praise flow out to Him in tongues.)

 

b). Prophetic Song - This is a spontaneous outflow of praise to God in song that is in your own language.  It is not intended to be written down.  It is an expression of the heart, given for the moment.

 

C. The Free Expression of Joy

Sometimes God wants you to be deep and thoughtful in your expression of love, but at other times the love inside of you wants to burst forth in free expression.  There are times when you want to shout it from the rooftops!  There are two words that describe this kind of praise:

 

1. Halal (to celebrate)

a. "halal" is a Hebrew word that means to celebrate.  It means to have a party, to celebrate!

 

b. Halal means to express your love for God by joyously and freely celebrating before Him.

 

c. Biblical descriptions of Halal involve clapping hands, dancing, shouting, and rejoicing before the Lord.  This word is used in such passages as Psalm 47:1-6 and Psalm 150.

 

d. It is from the word "halal" that we get the word "hallelujah".  (Hallelujah is an exhortation to have a halal for Yahweh).

In 2 Sam 6, when the ark was brought into Jerusalem, David took off his robe and danced before the Lord.  (That was halal.)  His wife, Michal, watched David dance and despised him for it.  When he returned, she criticized him and accused him of making a fool of himself by dancing before the Lord.

 

David responded to Michal by saying that it was all right to look foolish for God.  He told her that he would continue to be foolish for God, because everything he had was given to him by God.

 

The passage concludes by mentioning God's judgment on Michal for criticizing David's dancing.  Because she despised David's joyful praise, God made Michal barren for the rest of her life.  The lesson here is to be careful of criticizing other people's praise.

 

2. Shabach (to shout).

a. "Shabach" means to praise in a loud tone, to shout, or to shout in triumph.  It is used in such passages as Ps 117:1 and Ps 147:12.  This form of praise is common in the Bible.

 

b. In Nehemiah the people rejoiced before the Lord, and the noise of their celebration was so loud that it could be heard a long way off.  They were shouting before the Lord.

 

c. Rev 19:1, 4-6:  In this description of heavenly praise, the roar of all the heavenly hosts shouting their praises is so loud that it sounds like thunder.

 

If your praise is weak, your worship will be shallow.  If you enter into the high praises of God and praise Him with all of your might, you will find that your high praise will be followed by a time of deep worship.

 

 

Assignment:

The Bible says, "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth."  Write down a list of things you have to praise God for right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three

Biblical Teaching on Worship

 

1. The Definition of Worship

A. Worship is the heart's loving response to the presence of God.

 

B. When you praise God, His presence is manifested in you.  When His presence is manifested, it is a natural thing to respond to Him.  This response is what the Bible calls worship.

 

2. Moving from Praise to Worship

If you are going to worship God, it is important to develop a sensitivity to the manifest presence of God.  There are a number of ways you can tell when the presence of God is manifested:

 

A. A feeling of deep peace.

 

B. A sense that you are face to face with God.

 

C. A physical sensation of the presence of God.

This may come in the form of heat, tingling in your hands or on your shoulders, a sudden feeling of weakness, trembling or shaking.  You may feel a sense of "heaviness" in the air.

 

D. Sometimes you just know that God is here!

In your times of praise, develop a sensitivity to His presence.  As you enter into the high praises of God, a window opens into the heavenlies, and God's manifest presence is revealed.  When you sense that, it is time to worship.

 

3. Responding to God in Worship

A. Worship is quiet and intimate

Worship is an act of loving adoration.  It is very personal, reverent, and quiet.  Worship is addressed directly to God, speaking to Him in an intimate face-to-face expression of love.

 

B. Worship must be expressed

1. Some of the Biblical ways of expressing worship are standing, raising hands, singing, weeping, being quiet, and kneeling.

 

2. Many times in worship, if you are sensitive to the Spirit, He will give you specific instructions on how you are to express your worship to Him.

 

C. Holy Expectancy:

We should expect to enter the manifest presence of God in worship.  Expect to hear His voice, to feel His presence.

 

D. Abiding in Jesus

Worship experiences are more powerful and meaningful to us when we make an effort to live in the presence of God.  When we commune with the Lord in whatever we do throughout the day, it is easier to enter into worship.

 

E. Be changed

An encounter with Almighty God changes us.  Allow Him to prune you and purify you in His presence.  Obedience is an essential part of worship.

 

 

4. The Pathway to God's Presence

The Bible gives directions to follow to come into His presence.  These directions are found in many places, but one of the clearest is in Ps 95.

 

A. Praise - Psalm 95:1-5

1. The first step into His presence is praise.

2. You come into His courts with praise.

3. You come before Him with joyful song.

4. You come before God and you offer up to Him the sacrifice of praise, a free expression of your love to Him.  God responds by manifesting His presence.

 

B. Worship -   Psalm 95:6-7

After you come to Him in praise, your mind is turned to Him, and your spirit is open to Him.  His presence is manifested to you.  It is then that you respond in adoration.  You are quiet before Him and enjoy His presence.  You experience intimacy with Him.

 

C. Waiting -  Psalm 95:8-11

1. After your praise and worship, it is good to spend time, even if just for a few moments, listening for His voice.  Often, after a time of praise and worship, there will be a time of silence, when God will give us a prophetic word or a tongue with interpretation.

 

2. It is good to follow these three steps in your personal devotional life, as well as in the gathering of the church on Sunday.

 

5. Worship in Spirit and in Truth -- Jn 4:23

A. In Spirit

1. We have not truly worshipped the Lord until our spirit touches His Spirit.  Worship is about communion with Almighty God.  The Bible declares, "Deep calls unto deep." (Ps 42:7)

 

2. The form of worship (the songs we sing, what we do) are not as important as what happens on the spiritual level.

 

B. In truth

1. Need to have understanding about who God is and what He is like

 

2. See God "high and lifted up," and awesome in His power and glory (Isaiah 6:1-4)

 

6. Steps into Worship

A. Learn to live in the presence of God.  Try to truly "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess 5:17).

 

B. Have different experiences of worship:

1. Worship alone

2. Worship in small, intimate groups

3. Worship together with the Church as a whole

 

C. Prepare yourself for worship services

1. Be at the service on time -- before the praise and worship begins.  Do not try to come in in the middle.

 

2. As you gather, pray.

a. pray for those who will be leading, and for the congregation

b. pray to focus on Jesus

 

D. Live in dependency on God.  Recognize your great need for Him.

 

E. Learn to offer a sacrifice of worship

1. Many times you will not feel like worshipping, but struggle to enter in anyway

 

2. example of Mary:  Jn 12:1-8

 

Class Discussion:

Read Romans 12:1 (below).  What does this scripture mean?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.

 

When should you worship God?  Can you worship at any time?  How do you worship Him?

 

 

Chapter Four

Developing A Life of Praise and Worship

 

1. Personal Devotional Time

Every Christian needs to find a time to be alone with God each day.  This time should include time in prayer, and time spent in reading and studying the Bible.  This daily time with the Lord should also include time to praise and worship Him.  The following is a suggested plan to follow in spending time with the Lord:

 

A. Begin your daily time with God in praise.

Sing to Him.  Express your love to Him by lifting your hands, bowing before Him, or even shouting.  Praise Him by reading praise Psalms from the Bible, and by expressing your own praise and thanksgiving.  Praise Him with your heart, soul, mind and strength.

 

B. When you sense His presence with you, respond to Him in worship.

 

C. As you find your time of worship drawing to a close, listen for instructions.  He may bring to mind people to pray for.  He may bring to mind a passage of Scripture He wants you to read and meditate on.

 

D. If the Lord does not instruct you differently, move into a time of prayer.  Pray for your family, your church, your city, and your nation.

 

E. Spend time in the Bible.

Read it, memorize it, meditate on it, and study it.  Unless God gives you a passage to read, it is a good idea to go consecutively through a book of the Bible.

 

2. Helps to Praise

Here are some descriptions of God found in the Bible.  You can use these in your praise.

 

A. Some of the Names Attributed to Jesus

 

Alpha and Omega – Rev 21:6

       Ancient of Days – Dan 7:9

God's Anointed – Psalm 2:2

Author & Finisher of Faith - Heb 12:2

Author of Salvation – Heb 5:9

 

Begotten of God – 1 Jn 5:18

Bread of Life – Jn 6:35

Bright & Morning Star – Rev 22:16

 

Captain of Lord's Host – Jn 5:15

Chief Cornerstone – 1 Pet 2:6

Christ Jesus the Lord – Rom 8:39

Counselor – Is 9:6

 

Dayspring – Lk 1:78

Daystar – 2 Pet 1:19

Deliverer – Rom 11:26

 

Emmanuel – Mt 1:23

Everlasting Father – Is 9:6

 

Faithful & True – Rev 19:11

First and Last – Rev 22:13

 

Glorious Lord – Jam 2:1

God of Israel – Is 45:15

Great God – Tit 2:13

Great High Priest – Heb 4:14

 

Head of the Body – Col 1:18

Heir of all Things – Heb 1:2

Holy One of Israel – Is 41:14

Hope of Glory – Col 1:27

 

I AM – Jn 8:58

Image of Invisible God – Col 1:15

 

Jesus Christ Your Lord – Rom 1:4

Judge of Israel – Mic 5:1

 

Lamb of God – Jn 1:29

Life – Jn 14:6

Light of the World – Jn 8:12

Living Bread – Jn 6:51

Lord God Almighty – Rev 4:8

Lord of All – Acts 10:36

Love – 1 Jn 4:8

 

Man of Sorrows – Is 53:3

Master – Mat 23:10

Messiah – Dan 9:25

Mighty God – Is 9:6

Most Holy – Dan 9:24

 

Only Wise God – 1 Tim 1:17

 

Physician – Lk 4:23

Prince of Peace – Is 9:6

Prophet – Deut 18:15-18

Propitiation – Rom 3:25

 

Redeemer – Is 59:20

Resurrection – Jn 11:25

Rock – 1 Cor 10:4

Root of Jesse – Is 11:10

 

Savior of the World – 1 Jn 4:14

Seed of David – Jn 7:42

Good Shepherd – Jn 10:11

Son of God – Rom 1:4

Son of Man – Acts 7:56

Son of the Highest – Lk 1:32

Sure Foundation – Is 28:16

 

Teacher – Jn 3:2

Truth – Jn 14:6

 

Unspeakable Gift – 2 Cor 9:15

The Vine – Jn 15:1

 

The Way – Jn 14:6

Wonderful – Is 9:6

The Word – Jn 1:14

Word of God – Rev 19:13

 

B. Primary Names of God in the Bible

1. ELOHIM - (Translated as "God") - Elohim points to God as the Mighty One, strong and glorious, with the ability to create and govern.

 

2. YAHWEH (Jehovah--also translated as "Lord") - Yahweh is His personal name by which He related to His covenant people.  It points to His eternal self-existence.

 

3. ADONAI - (Translated as "Lord") - Adonai means master.  To address God as Adonai acknowledges His complete ownership of you.

 

4. Names with Yahweh (Jehovah)

a. Jehovah Jireh - Jehovah will see and provide - Gen. 22:14

b. Jehovah Rophe - Jehovah heals - Ex. 15:26

c. Jehovah Nissi - Jehovah my banner of victory - Ex. 17:15

d. Jehovah M'Kaddesh - Jehovah who sanctifies - Lev. 20:7-8

e. Jehovah Shalom - Jehovah is Peace - Judges 6:24

f. Jehovah Tsidkenu - Jehovah your righteousness - Jer. 23:5-6

g. Jehovah Rohi - Jehovah my shepherd - Psalm 23:1

h. Jehovah Shammah - Jehovah is present - Ezekial 48:35

 

5. Names with El (Short form of Elohim)

a. El Shadai - God, the Almighty One - Gen. 17:1

b. El Elyon - God, the Most High - Isa. 14:13-14

c. El Roi - God, The Strong One Who Sees and Provides - Gen. 16:13

d. El Olam - The Everlasting God - Isaiah 40:28

 

3. Praise Passages

One way of praising God is to express to Him the praise recorded in His Word.  The Bible has many beautiful expressions of praise.  As you express these to God, you will learn to praise Him more effectively.  You can express these praise passages to God verbally, or you may wish to set them to music and sing them to Him.

 

Chapter Five

Praise and Worship in the Church

 

1. Scripture verses:

A. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord . . . make a loud noise and rejoice, and sing praise." Psalm 98:4.

 

B. "Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy!" Psalm 47:1

 

C. "Be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of your Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:18-20.

 

 

D. "I will sing with my spirit -- by the Holy Spirit that is within me; but I will sing (in my native tongue) with my mind and understanding also." 1 Corinthians 14:15

 

E. "For the one who is uttering words in a tongue is not speaking to men, but to God, for no one hears him so as to understand what he is saying. And he utters with his human spirit, as energized by the Holy Spirit, divine revelations not explained. But, he who prophesies speaks with the result of building up the Christian life, and exhortation, and consolation. The one who utters words in a tongue builds himself up in his Christian life." 1 Cor 14:2-4

 

F. "But you beloved, build yourselves up, founded on your most holy faith -- make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher -- praying in the Holy Spirit."  Jude 20 (Amplified Translation)

 

G. "Pray at all times -- on every occasion, in every season -- in the Spirit with all manner of prayer and entreaty." Ephesians 6:18 (Amplified Version)

 

H. " . . . Building yourselves up constantly in your most holy faith, and constantly praying in the Holy Spirit . . . "  Jude 20

 

I. "Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise." Psalm 33:3.

 

J. "Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."  1 Peter 2:5.

 

K. "And He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto your God; many shall see it and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:3.

 

L. "I will praise the name of God with a song . . . This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock . . . " Ps 69:30-31.

 

M. "To sum it up, my friends:  when you meet for worship, each of you contribute a hymn, some instruction, a revelation . . . Aim at one thing, to build up the Church." 1 Cor 14:26

 

N. "Teaching and admonishing one another in Psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs . . . singing unto the Lord."  Col 3:16

 

2. Paul and Silas in Jail:  Acts 16:25-26

A. Paul and Silas were falsely accused, beaten, and thrown in jail. However, at midnight these two believers were singing hymns of praise to God.

Scripture says that other prisoners were listening. The voices, uplifted in song,  praised God in adoration of his faithfulness and unflagging character. This caused the ears of others to be alert, and God moved in supernatural demonstration as a response to the faith of Silas and Paul.

 

B. Paul and Silas were not recounting the unjust events that had befallen them.

They were not expressing anger and indignation at the Romans and magistrates who wrongly imprisoned them. Nor were they inspecting their bruises and wounds. With one voice, they were expressing their trust in God, and praising him.

 

C. These two apostles were not praising God in order to manipulate Him, but expressing their complete reliance upon Him to watch over and guide them as He chose.

God chose to respond to the exhibited faith of these two by shaking the very foundation of the prison.  Not only were Paul and Silas freed, but all the other prisoners were freed as well.

 

3. Leading in Praise and Worship

A. Keep a list of choruses to prayerfully consider which to use before service.

 

B. The leader should be flexible and move with the flow of each individual service, even if his\her prepared list must be discarded.

 

C. Choose a variety of tempos and use them in accordance with what God is saying to the people during the service.

1. If God is urging joy, use faster and lively tempos. Ordinarily, the faster tempos should be used in times of praise and where the believer proclaims the goodness of God. This washes away the worldly cares which distract us.

 

2. The leader should maintain a consistency in tempos that link one chorus to another. If there is too much switching back and forth between fast and slow, the atmosphere of worship is destroyed.

 

D. Worship should build in intensity. Consider the scriptural theme which the Lord lays on your heart and choose choruses accordingly.

 

E. The best way for a new song to be introduced to the congregation, so they can quickly learn it, is to have a small group sing it without breaking the flow of the service, as the worship leader indicates. After singing it three or four times, the people can be encouraged to join in. The flow of worship should not be interrupted by having the people stop singing while someone teaches the songs.

 

F. The worship leader has an important role in leading the congregation into worship.

1. As the leader, he must also enter into true worship.

 

2. The leader should on some occasions, speak to exhort the people to worship.  Worship leaders should avoid preaching and breaking the flow of a service by the injection of thoughts, talk, announcements, or other distractions.

 

3. He is to be sensitive to the Spirit during the service, and if God speaks clearly, guide the service into the direction He has indicated.

 

4. The worship leader should give sufficient direction, so there is no confusion or lack of leadership by indecision.