40 Things the Psalms Tell Us About Biblical Worship

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Our working definition of biblical worship may not be big enough.

These days, we spend so much time focusing on the hot new song or the cool new effect that we’re tempted to forget what’s most important to the Lord’s heart.

In the book of Psalms, God’s Word tells us that biblical worship can…

  1. Contrast the character of God with the nature of man
  2. Profess our personal struggles and failings with brutal honesty
  3. Admit our frustration and impatience
  4. Cry out for deliverance from trial and persecution
  5. Call our community to confession and repentance
  6. Plead for justice and the restoration of righteousness
  7. Testify to God’s sustaining grace and ultimate salvation
  8. Praise God for his majesty and power as displayed in creation
  9. Thank God for his marvelous and miraculous deeds
  10. Implore God to destroy those who wickedly oppress us and others
  11. Celebrate the strength, peace and security we find in God
  12. Point toward the Day of the Lord and the redemption of all things
  13. Call us to holiness and a lifestyle that reflects God’s character
  14. Proclaim God’s faithfulness to and provision for his children
  15. Reveal the Messiah and the everlasting life he brings
  16. Exalt the utter otherness of our God
  17. Reveal the glory of worship around Heaven’s throne
  18. Extol the beauty of his Law and his lordship in our lives
  19. Contain prophetic revelations
  20. Warn the unrighteous of the consequences of their disobedience
  21. Encourage the brokenhearted and weary
  22. Reveal God’s amazing mercy and forgiveness
  23. Bless the Lord for his blessings to us
  24. Bless the Lord for being the Sovereign God above all
  25. Bless the Lord for turning our mourning into dancing
  26. Involve joyful singing and skillful musicianship
  27. Contain intercession for our leaders and nation
  28. Compel a healthy fear and awe of God
  29. Arouse a deep love for and trust in God
  30. Be continually fresh as God renews our hearts and minds
  31. Inspire sacrificial obedience to God and service to others
  32. Give us God’s heart for the poor, weak and disenfranchised
  33. Direct our souls to focus on God rather than ourselves
  34. Deliver us from fear and despair
  35. Command us to cease striving and—instead--to rest in Him
  36. Involve clapping, shouting and loudly proclaiming God’s goodness
  37. Help us look forward to experiencing the New Jerusalem
  38. Help us trust in God rather than in wealth or strength
  39. Empower us to abandon ungodly, sinful lives
  40. Enable us hear the Word of God and apply it to our hearts

And that’s some of what’s contained in the first 50 psalms. There are 100 other chapters in the Bible’s hymnal that give us even more insight into what true worship looks like. As we develop a deep biblical theology of worship, we'll begin to understand the breath and depth of worship itself.

Most importantly, let's continually remind ourselves to focus on the Who and what of worship—and not just the how.

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--For more helpful articles about developing a theology of worship, go to www.discoverworship.com. 

Posted in: Encouragement, Theology of Worship, Spiritual Development

Vince Wilcox

Vince Wilcox

Vince Wilcox is the general manager of the Discover Worship team. As GM, he brings his varied experiences as attorney, marketer, entrepreneur, musician and product creator to help worship leaders acquire resources to glorify God and transform lives. In additional to his duties at Discover Worship, Vince is a part-time Instructor in the Music Business degree program at Trevecca Nazarene University and active in his local church.

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