What is worship?


Coming up with a definition of worship isn’t as easy as you might think; most people would say that they know what it is but when it comes to writing it down in a sentence it seems almost impossible to capture all the facets of it. Let’s try and make this an interactive discussion by adding your thoughts using the comments boxes below.

We recognise worship by a number of attributes, which in themselves don’t necessarily define worship but help us to see it:

  • singing
  • dancing
  • clapping
  • raising hands
  • adoration
  • worship
  • glorifying
  • submission
  • service

Here are some of my thoughts on what should form part of the definition of worship:

  • Putting God first in everything
  • Wanting to please Him in all we do
  • Working to see and demonstrate His glory on earth
  • Submitting to the King of Kings
  • Our ‘reasonable service’ is our spiritual act of worship ()
  • Loving Him and His creation in the way that He does
  • A response to the love that He has given to us
  • An expression of His Spirit within us – using the gifts of the Spirit is part of our worship
  • Giving of ourselves, our time, and our money
  • A sacrifice of praise – giving something that is costly. Not giving out of compulsion or obligation, instead giving out of love
  • An attitude and lifestyle as well as an action (we can live a life of worship that isn’t one of singing continuously!)

Again, let’s try and make this interactive and meditate together on what worship is, let me know your thoughts by using the ‘comments’ options below…


12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (ESV)

Comments & Responses

2 Responses so far.

  1. Jonty says:

    I think worship is placing something or someone before yourself and to giving them all your attention. In my wedding vows I vowed with my body to worship my wife which is a good example of what worship is like.
    Putting the other person first, giving of your everything to them, submitting to them, lifting them up in your thanks and praise…….. just need to put it in action now :)

  2. Pete says:

    Your second point of ‘wanting to please God in all we do’ brings to mind Heb 11.6. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb 11.1 tells us in the Message; The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.
    Acts of worship are sometimes portrayed as ‘mystical’ with eyes closed and arms raised. The description of the actions may be true but our worship comes from feet planted firmly on the ground in the faith that the God we worship cares for us, wants the best for us and inhabits the praises of His people. How could anyone not want to give such a God their best in everything?

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