What comes to mind when you
think of worship? Perhaps your mind conjures an image of a contemporary worship band on stage, rocking out in church with lifted hands. There seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding the topic of what worship should look like in the church. But let’s remember that worship is far more than surface level. True worship goes deeper than appearance, and God never intended for it to be confined to one day of the week. In fact, as Christians, our every breath can be made out of worship for our Heavenly Father. So how does God view worship? To answer this question, let’s become familiar with Bible verses about worship; that way, we can learn to live a lifestyle of worship. Then, when it comes time to gather corporately, our hearts will be better prepared to worship as He intended.
Bible Verses about Worship – Worship Scripture
First, we need to understand why God created man in the first place. Isaiah 43:7 tells us that “I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” God didn’t need to create us. He doesn’t need our worship; after all, the Creator is sovereign and self-sustaining. But He chose to create us for His glory. If we return to the Garden of Eden—before sin created a separation between mankind and God—we can see that Adam and Eve walked in deep friendship with their Creator.
God enjoys our fellowship. All of creation was created to give Him glory, and our every word and action can be a reflection of this adoration toward our Heavenly Father. True worship is simply an outward expression of this love we have toward Him, a means by which we glorify Him.
God treasures our intimacy with Him so much that He sent His Son to die on our behalf. Why? Because this was the only way mankind could be restored back to the Father. It was God’s great love for us that compelled Him to create us, and it was His great love for us that compelled Him to send His Son (see John 3:16).
What should our response be in return? Nothing less than exaltation. We will never be able to comprehend this sacrifice, this love that God has for us, much less give Him what He deserves—but we can at least try. We can at least pour out our every breath, our entire being, as an offering of worship.
Looking back at the birth of Christ, we see that this was the natural response the wise men had upon seeing baby Jesus. When they first beheld the sight of their Creator wrapped in flesh, coming to earth to redeem mankind, they could offer nothing less than worship and adoration.
Matthew 2:11 says, “And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
How did these wise men express their worship? Through the act of bowing down and offering gifts. This was an outward reflection of the state of their hearts. Did God need their gifts? Of course not. Did God command that they fall down and worship Him? No, because God gives us free will, and that’s what is so mind-boggling—the fact that He would never relent in pouring out His love for us, even if we chose to never thank Him in return. But if we don’t respond in this manner, then it’s our loss, because worship doesn’t just bless God. It blesses us, too, by drawing us closer to our Father and ushering us into His presence (see Psalm 95:2).
Why Is Worship so Important?
All of us worship something or someone—even those who claim to not be “religious.” Since this is the reason we were created, we have an instinct, a natural drive, which compels us to have an object for our admiration.
Unfortunately, too many of us, including Christians, direct this drive toward things this world offers instead. We often choose to admire the creations rather than the Creator (see Romans 1:25).
Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
To serve God is to worship Him. To love Him is to worship Him. To serve the world—to treasure the world and everything it offers—is to worship the world in God’s place.
Our hearts only have room for one.
So why should we worship God instead of the world?
Let’s take a look at what Romans 12:1 says about worship:
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
According to that verse, our worship should be out of gratitude for all He has done for us. No one else is as deserving, as worthy, of our worship. We can do this by giving ourselves to Him in total surrender, no matter the cost—because Jesus certainly didn’t hold Himself back for us on the cross.
When we worship a thing or a person, we connect to the core of that idol. And whether we like it or not, the longer we hold an idol in our hearts, the more we begin to look like the thing, or person, that we behold. I don’t know about you, but I’d much prefer to grow in the likeness of Christ rather than the world!
So if we aren’t worshipping God—if we aren’t drawing closer to Him, living out of surrender to Him, and falling more in love with Him—then I can’t help but ask: What is the thing, or the person, that is taking His place in our hearts?
What Is True Worship?
What does worship look like? I’ll give you a hint: It has nothing to do with fashion or hairstyles.
Let’s see what Colossians 3:16-17 says about this:
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
True worship is a lifestyle. Worship can be demonstrated through our every word and action. Of course, God can be worshipped corporately as well. His presence is manifested where believers gather to lift His name high, according to Matthew 18:20:
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
When it comes to worship, God is looking at the state of our hearts. He’s not necessarily looking at whether or not we are lifting our hands in church. Can lifted hands be an expression of worship? Absolutely. But it’s also possible to worship God in appearance while simultaneously worshipping the world in our hearts.
Let’s take a look at the warning provided in Isaiah 29:13:
“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’”
God deserves nothing less than our entire hearts when it comes to worshipping Him—not just our lip service. He is looking for true worshipers who “will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth,” according to John 4:23.
25 Bible Verses about Worship to Prepare Your Heart
Below is a collection of Bible verses that magnify God and can prepare our hearts for worship at church—or any other day of the week.
“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name” Psalm 66:4.
“Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked”Jeremiah 20:13.
“Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth” Psalm 96:9.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” Hebrews 13:15.
“Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world” Isaiah 12:5.
“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God” Psalm 86:9-10.
“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his” Daniel 2:20.
“Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves’” 1 Chronicles 16:23.
“We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds” Psalm 75:1.
“Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings; honor the Lord for his glory and strength. Honor the Lord for the glory of his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness” Psalm 29:1-2.
“May your glorious name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the Lord. You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars. You made the earth and the seas and everything in them. You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you” Nehemiah 9:5-6.
“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy”Psalm 100:1-2.
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” Psalm 22:3.
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness” 1 Chronicles 16:9.
“Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care” Psalm 95:6-7.
“All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!” Psalm 145:10.
“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure” Isaiah 25:1.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!” Psalm 150:1.
“Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!” Psalm 149:3.
“They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness” Psalm 145:7.
“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable” Psalm 145:3.
“My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day” Psalm 71:8.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen” Romans 11:36.
Why does God deserve this worship? Because, without Him, we would be dust. Because He is the only One who is righteous, holy, and worthy to be praised. And because, if it weren’t for Jesus shedding His blood for us on the cross, we would be lost, bound by the chains of our sin and suffering.
There is no other name that is deserving of our entire worship, affection, and admiration than our Heavenly Father. According to Romans 14:11 and Philippians 2:10-11, there will soon come a day when all of creation will bow down to Him and proclaim that He is Lord.
When we do as we were created to do by worshipping our Creator, we are joining with all of heaven to lift His name high (see Revelation 4:8-11). We’re going to be worshipping Him continuously in eternity—so we might as well get used to it now!