Bob Krepps

What is Worship?

            The English word – worship – is from the word worth.  Worship means to accord God (the only one worthy of worship) proper recognition of His greatness and value (or worth).

            The main Hebrew word for worship shahah means to bow down or to do homage.  The idea is to prostrate oneself in order to do homage to God.  Genesis 18: 2, Genesis 22: 5, Psalm 2: 11 – 12

            The Greek word proskuneo means to kiss toward or to kiss the hand of.  John 4: 21 – 24   The word latreuo means to serve or to minister.  Matthew 4: 9 – 10; Hebrews 9: 6, 9, 14; Revelation 22: 3

            Putting it all together.  Worship involves all that we are – our attitudes, emotions, actions, mind and will.  Worship is both a subjective experience and an objective activity.  It is the total adoring response of all that man is to all that the one eternal God is and does.  In worship we recognize and adore God, revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, and seek by the power of His Spirit to give God the glory, honor, praise, submission and service which He deserves. 

            R. A. Torrey says worship “is the soul bowing itself in adoring contemplation before the object worshiped.  To worship God is to bow before God in adoring contemplation of Himself.”  In worship we are occupied with God.

            In prayer we are occupied with our needs and the needs of others.  In thanksgiving we are occupied with our blessings.  In worship we are occupied with Him.

Why Worship?

            Man was created to worship.  I Corinthians 10: 31

            God is seeking worshipers.  John 4: 23, II Chronicles 16: 9

            God calls us to worship.  Psalm 29: 2, Psalm 95: 6 – 7

            Worship will be our occupation in heaven.  Revelation 4: 10; 5: 11 – 14; 19:  1 – 7, 10

            It is the only fitting response to the love, grace and greatness of God.

Who do we Worship?

            We are to worship God and God alone.  We may admire a man or woman but we must only worship God.  No man, woman, saint or angel should be worshiped.  Matthew 4: 9 – 10, Acts 10: 25 – 26, Revelation 22: 8 – 9

            We are to worship God the Father.  John 4: 23

            We are to worship Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 1:6, Philippians 2: 10 – 11, Revelation 5:8 – 13.  “And Thomas answered and said, my Lord and my God.”  (John 20: 28)  Jesus is our Lord and God.

            What comes to your mind when you think about God?  What is God like?  Why is it important to have a right view of God?  If the God we are worshiping is not the God of the Bible, the God we are worshiping is an idol not God.  Isaiah 57: 15, Hebrews 1: 1 – 3

Note:  To learn what the Bible say about God see the study on the Attributes of God.

What results from Worship?

            When there is true worship the Father is satisfied.  God has found what He seeks.  John 4: 23, Proverbs 15: 8, Psalm 141: 2, Revelation 8: 3 - 4

            The worshiper is satisfied, our highest joy is found in worship.  Psalm 42: 1 – 2  The thirsty soul is satisfied.  Psalm 27: 4, Psalm 21: 6, Psalm 16: 11, Psalm 65: 4, I Peter 1: 8, Acts 2: 25 – 28, Psalm 73

            The worshiper is transformed into the likeness of God.  (Our complete transformation will take place at the end of the age when we will see Jesus face to face.)  II Corinthians 3: 18, Exodus 34: 29 – 25, I John 3: 2, Proverbs 4: 18.  Also, look at Romans 12: 1 – 2.

            Worship empties us of pride and reveals our sin and weakness.  Isaiah 5: 5, Job 42: 5 - 6

            We find spiritual power as a result of worship.  Isaiah 40: 31, Habakkuk 3: 18 - 19

A Prayer of Meditation on Worship

The following prayer on worship is taken from The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Arthur Bennett, Editor, 1975

Glorious God,

It is the flame of my life to worship thee,

the crown and Glory of my soul to adore thee,

heavenly pleasure to approach thee.


Give me power by thy Spirit to help me worship now,

that I might forget the world,

be brought into fullness of life,

be refreshed, comforted, blessed.


Give me knowledge of thy goodness

that I might not be over-awed by thy greatness,


Give me Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God,

that I might not be terrified,

but be drawn near with filial love; with holy boldness;


He is my mediator, brother, interpreter, branch, daysman, Lamb;

Him I glorify, in Him I am set on high.


Crowns to give I have none,

but what thou hat given I return,

content to feel that everything is mine when it is thine,

and the more fully mine when I have yielded it to thee.


Let me live wholly to my Saviour,

free from distractions,

from carking care,

from hindrances to the pursuit of the narrow way.


I am pardoned through the blood of Jesus-

give me a new sense of it,

continue to pardon me by it,

may I come every day to the fountain,

and every day be washed anew,

that I may worship thee always in spirit and truth.

[1]This study is the introduction to a fourteen-week class the author taught on worship.  Each of the verses listed should be looked up in the Bible and read get the most benefit from this study.

Permission is granted to use this Bible Study outline for personal study and small groups only. 

Study written by Bob Krepps  © 2002 all rights reserved


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