Worship – ministering to the Lord. When many of us think of the word ‘Ministry’ all that comes to our minds is ministering to our fellow humans, but that’s not the first ministry! There’s something called ministering to the Lord by which we make a practice of His presence and this is not about us or others. This is not us making requests. It’s also not about interceding for others. It’s about Him and Him alone! Worship to God is not all about singing praise and worship songs but singing helps us express our praise and worship.
If we aren’t careful we’ll veer off into another extreme by de-emphasising this primary duty of the believer same way some do nothing else but flippantly sing in church all kinds of slow and fast songs tagged ‘Praise and Worship’ without being conscious of the Lord. In ministering to the Lord, it’s the fruit of our lips that matter most but we must ensure they match what is in our heart. Hebrews 13:15, ‘Therefore, by Him, let us continually offer to God sacrifices of praise, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.’ This is the only thing God directly receives from us. We can’t give God anything material directly. We only give to His people. But praise, thanks, worship, goes to Him and no one else and we are instructed to do it continually. In fact the word prayer isn’t complete without praise and thanks.
The word prayer in the Greek also means worship. Hence when God says, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations’, He didn’t mean it’s just a place for petitions. He meant it’s a house of worship. Prayer is beyond making requests. Ephesians 6:18 speaks of all kinds of prayer. 1 Timothy 2:1 makes a list of them. Also I’ve found out that everywhere exhortations are made about prayer in the New Testament, we find something about praise or thanks too. It’s not a coincidence. It’s deliberate because praise and thanksgiving are forms of prayer. When Jesus gave His disciples a model of prayer we see that pattern of praise and worship in it too. Someone might say, ‘God is Almighty, why does He need me to praise Him?’ Well, bible says God delights in it! And if He does, why not just do it in obedience and reverence instead of trying to logically explain why He doesn’t need praise? God demands that we praise and thank Him at all times. The writer of Hebrews calls it ‘sacrifices of praise’ because it will cost us time and energy. We don’t rush through it. Read the psalms and see how praise and thanksgiving is done with so much attention on details. We list the benefits one by one beginning at what He’s done through the cross of Christ to what He does for us daily and we heartily thank and praise Him. That’s not hard, in my opinion. Just go ahead and give Him the fruit of your lips. Invest some quality time ministering to Him in His presence! There’s no preaching or making requests in heaven but we sure know there’s praise, thanksgiving, and worship! Be tuned in to heaven’s frequency so heaven can participate in your earthly affairs. Now that’s not a formula for breakthrough. That’s a lifestyle! Whether it’s smooth or not, I’ll praise. Whether I’m sinking or floating, I’ll praise. I’ll praise Him with my last breath. It’s a lifestyle commanded us in scriptures.
Finally, you may be wondering why the title of the articles speaks of worship but emphasis is on praise. The reason is because praise and thanksgiving is an integral part of our worship to God. This is the same pattern those who worship idols have copied. They praise their gods consistently. It’s an act of worship. This is why most of the admonitions in the epistles are on praise and thanksgiving. Worship just means service and if praise and thanksgiving serve Him, then worship has taken place when done with a heart of reverence. Let’s worship Him with all we’ve got, especially with the fruit of our lips. Amen
Written by Adebowale Ibukun Tosin