Read the article and talk about it with your group or mentor. Learn more.

Praise and worship is powerful. In this article we'll check out the pathway of praise and worship prescribed in the Bible and some of the effects it has in our lives.

Praise and worship go far beyond simply singing songs to God, although that is certainly part of it. Worshipping God actually has a clear biblical process and effects that we sometimes don’t realize; we might get caught up in the musical execution of a worship set and forget the implications behind what we are doing. When we align ourselves with the biblical pattern and pathway of praise and worship, however, we will begin to see amazing results in our lives and in those we lead.

Praise Is the Gateway

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

First and foremost, Jesus is the ultimate gateway into God’s presence, for by offering one final sacrifice at the cross for all people, He made it possible for God’s presence to live within us through the inner working of the Holy Spirit. So if God’s spirit and presence already lives inside of us as Christians, what is the importance of praise? Throughout the Bible, praise is seen as the gateway into God’s presence, for it changes our focus on whatever we are facing and instead focuses on Him and His work in our lives. Rather than offering actual physical sacrifices like in the Old Testament, we offer “sacrifices of praise” which are connected to our hearts, for out of the heart the mouth speaks. God wants our heart and so when we praise God no matter the circumstances, we are realigning our hearts and intentions with Him, His purposes, and His truth through offering a sacrifice of praise and becoming more and more aware of His presence and work in our lives.

Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.

Thanksgiving Is the Context

As we begin to place God in the rightful place in our lives, amazing things begin to happen. We start to realize His provision and faithfulness in our lives and how He has provided for us time and time again. We begin to remember who God really is to us and how good He has been to us. As this thankfulness flows, we are able to now let Him know our requests and needs — because now our focus is in the right place and we are thankful that God is providing even before the provision comes. We are confident in God! As our focus changes, we become more aware of His presence in our lives despite the challenges we are facing. Much like Peter who was sinking when Jesus was near him, we can often lose sight of God in our awareness, although he is always there. When we shift our focus to thanksgiving through faith, we begin to invite God to draw near to us.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Peace Is the Result

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

As a result of changing our focus to God in full confidence of who He is and what He has done, the peace of God envelops us and comforts us in the midst of whatever circumstance we face. Another way to think about it is this: the Bible tells us that God inhabits the praises, or is enthroned, on the praises of his people.

Psalm 22:3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

When we choose to praise God in the midst of our trial, even before we see a break-through in our situation, we are using the spiritual key of faith to activate God’s supernatural working on our behalf because we are enthroning him and his authority in our lives instead of ourselves and our limited knowledge and resources. We don’t worship to get this benefit; we worship because we love God. But as a result of us changing our focus and worshipping him, we find that we experience his peace and presence because He inhabits the praises of his people and Jesus is the prince of peace. Where the Holy Spirit dwells, there is peace and all manner of healing and breakthrough are available for you and others.

2 Corinthians 3:17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Praise and Worship Demolishes Strongholds

Through this working of the Holy Spirit through his presence, the strongholds of Satan are pushed back and destroyed. Strongholds are behaviors, beliefs, or thought patterns that develop and grow as a response to deception and lies rather than the truth of God’s word. Strongholds bind us up and keep us from God’s freedom but where God’s truth is, the darkness flees.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

One of the powerful ways we both declare the truth (the spoken word of God) and interact with the truth (the actual person and presence of Jesus who is the truth, way, and life) is through praise and worship. As we lift up the name of Jesus, the darkness must flee and the wind of the spirit lifts the fog of heaviness, bringing peace and rest. In a very tangible sense, Paul and Silas were delivered from a physical stronghold of prison when they sang hymns to God and exalted the name of Jesus. 

Acts 16:23-26 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!

Praise and Worship Is Our High Calling

Worship is something we were created for and what we will be doing in heaven for eternity. Worship also leads us to action here on earth. In other words, worship is the place where we get a glimpse of the Father and where we are stirred to action because we see what is on his heart. As we live lives of worship, desiring to see others know Jesus becomes of paramount importance and as we continue to live lives of praise and worship, we invite God to go to work on our behalf preparing the way for these conversations, relationships, and divine appointments to take place. When people behold the glory of God in our lives and in our midst as believers while worshipping corporately, it attracts and draws them to what they are seeing in us and leads to life-changing conversations with us about the hope and life we have in Christ.

Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

Article for this topic by Ashton Abbott.

Key Points:

  • Praise is the gateway into God’s presence and refocuses us on who God is and His work in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • No matter our circumstances, thanksgiving precedes all heartfelt praise and worship of God.
  • Peace results from turning our eyes to Jesus and thanking Him for His work in our lives.
  • Praise and worship brings freedom in our lives and connect us to the truth: Jesus.
  • We were created to live lives of praise and worship that lead us into action and attracts others to the life and love of Christ in us.

Quote This:

Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

See Also: Worship Teams

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. How good are you at praising God no matter what circumstances you are facing?
  3. Have you ever been tempted to worship God for the good things it might bring in your life? If so, how is this missing the point of worship?
  4. What does the peace of God look like to you? How does worship relate to this?
  5. How do praise and worship bring freedom to our lives?
  6. In what ways might worship motivate us to action?
  7. How does worshipping God relate to being a welcoming person others want to talk to in order to know Jesus the way you do?
  8. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.