Day 5 - Audible Praise
Welcome to the discussion of Day 5, the final day of Week 2. Today's lesson was on "Audible Praise" - which in this study, is praise that is not sung, such as clapping, playing instruments, etc.
What has God spoken to you this week regarding the eight various expressions of praise in the book?
4. playing instruments
7. raising hands
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Every part of our bodies, our brains, our selves can and should be used to praise Him. If even the rocks can cry out, why shouldn't I; if the trees and rivers clap their hands, why shouldn't I? Goodbye, comfort zone and hiding behind a guitar! Occasionally, a young woman in the congregation will come up front and dance before the Lord, and it always touches my heart because I feel like she is offering her dance on behalf of all of us, those who would not dance and those who cannot dance.
There's also been a lot of discussion in the forum about how our home churches worship, and sometimes I forget that I am part of the church universal. Lately I have had several weeks off from worship leadership (shoulder surgery) and I took advantage of the time to visit friends' churches. It was amazing to see that God is worshiped in so many ways, some familiar to me and some at the opposite end of the spectrum from my church, and it gave me an opportunity to engage in worship in new ways. I highly recommend visiting a church totally different from your own if you get a chance.
I too have been sick, and my book still has not arrived, so the publisher was kind enough to email me a copy. I'm getting caught up!
As I'm reading through the comments for this week (and they are all great - thank you!) I am thrilled to see such diversity of background.
Personally I was raised in a charismatic church... then we changed churches to a non-denominational that was much more subdued... then I married a man who was raised very... um... *not* charismatic!
Trying to meld all of these together has at times been a bit of a challenge. There are certain forms of worship that come naturally to me, that my husband struggles with - that most of the churches we have attended since getting married struggle with.
We are now at a church that, while it isn't charismatic, it also isn't traditional. There is a huge variety of backgrounds that are represented - from charismatic to very traditional - and thus far we are all working together to create an environment that allows for some measure of freedom in worship. Within some guidelines, of course...
We have begun holding a more intimate "worship service" once a month that allows for more freedom in expressing the forms of worship we have been studying - kneeling, raising hands, speaking out, singing, falling prostrate... if it's in the bible I'm open to having it used during this service. And thus far, it has been rather well received. No one has been offended yet!
This week's study has been a good reminder for me that we are all different, but none of us is more or less worshipful if we do or don't worship through all of these avenues. Yes, we are free to worship God in whatever way He lays on our hearts, but it's not for us to look down on another because of how they choose to worship - or how they are called to worship.
I will always remember a women's retreat that I led worship at a few years ago... the speaker and her friend (both very elegant, well-dressed & well-coiffed ladies) came to a point during the worship where they could no longer contain their adoration, and they kneeled with arms raised and tears streaming down their faces in worship of God. It was beautiful. It was humbling, and it was eye opening to see how rote worship can become if we let it. She later apologized for her tears and kneeling when she realized that they were the only 2 doing that... and that struck me. We should never have to apologize for worshiping God! Especially to other Christians.
As those who are "leading worship" within our churches, we need to keep our hearts and minds open to God's will in this area. It is often so easy to get caught up in the "this is how it's always been done" mindset, or even "I'm not comfortable doing that, so you can't either" - both of which are traps. We are leading God's people in worshiping Him - they will use us and our team as the gauge of what's "acceptable" within the walls of our buildings. If your team is free to worship, the congregation will feel that as well, and will generally follow suit. If they are filled with joy, others will become infected with that joy! If they feel led (and affirmed) to shout out God's praise, it will spread. If they are free to pray, to kneel before the presence of God, to raise their hands in worship, others will feel that freedom as well. As leaders, we need to submit to what God is calling for our body (personal and corporate) so that we can lead those that He has called us to lead.
Sorry, I didn't mean to write a book, that's what I get for doing a weeks-worth in a day or two!
Glad you are feeling better Mimsi!!!
This has been a good week of study. The Lord has showed me a lot of things about the 8 expressions of worship. I'll just point out a few - see what you think
1. singing - A verse that is a favorite, "I will bless the Lord at ALL times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth". Psalm 34:1. All times, every season, every storm and every sunrise: I WILL PRAISE the Lord!!!
2. shouting/speaking - Shouting brings victory into the camp. Joshua shouted and the walls came down. Victory shouts across the word have made enemies tremble. There is a power that comes behind the shout of the people of God. No enemy can withstand it!!!
3. clapping - Sometimes, we cut out the music in our songs and just clap - most of us altogether. There is an awesome sound that comes from a background drum keeping the beat and an entire congregation praising the Lord by clapping. Try it!!! It is awesome.
4. playing instruments - I like how Mr. Moore points out that the instrument is just the tool in the hand of the believer. That is a very good point.
5. kneeling - A part in the reading that I love is when Mr. Moore reminded us that one Greek word for worship is "to kiss". When the Magi bent down and knelt before the baby King, I imagine they kissed His little head. This image of kneeling reminds me of a man who gets down to ask his girl to marry him. There is a surrender and a love there. "I am humbling myself before you to ask you to be my wife". It is the same when we kneel before the Lord. We surrender ourselves and bow down in His holy presence.
6. dancing - I love when the congregation moves out into the aisles and dances - The men, the women, the kids. Worshiping in the dance is so powerful. It releases our own selves to a place where we don't care what we look like, or who is watching. We dance for the Lord and that is all that matters.
7. raising hands - The visualization on pg. 33 of the little child raising his/her hands up to you to be held really struck me. When we raise our hands to the Lord we do so in an act of surrender. We surrender all that we are for all that He is. We are saying, "I can't do this on my own. I surrender to Your will". Just like a child holds his/her arms up, they are surrendering themselves to us. It just melts your heart, doesn't it?
Let Everything That Has Breath ...Psalm 150:6
Sometimes I feel in the Spirit that I am suffering with "Spiritual Emphysema" when it comes to praising God with my whole heart, like I should. I have to confess that I had one of these "spells" that said, "What's eating on you, Don?" This was the cause of my dilemma, or maybe yet my own little "pity party" yesterday:
Please bear with me as I try to explain the causes for my little moments of insecurity. I've prayed about this, but as yet have not an answer from God. I have desired for a long time to come into the fullness of what Dwayne Moore discussed in Day 1-day 5, and am so much more encouraged in the Lord than I was after last week's study.
TO THE POINT: Day 3 through Day 5, encourages us to use Visual, Vocal, and Audible Ways of worship both individually and in corporate worship. He explains by breaking them down into 8 categories.
All this to say, I rarely do anything but sing and play instruments at church.
I feel a freedom at home with an "Audience of One", but,you know I don't try, even then, to be very demonstrative. And I think God knows me and still loves me for just who I am. But that doesn't mean He isn't changing me! "Bring it on Lord, I'm ready".
Clap for joy all you people!
I have a story... this happened at a church where I was leading worship.
We did lots of upbeat praise in the beginning of the worship set, mostly to get people's blood flowing, wake them up in the Spirit, so to speak, then we would typically wind down into a couple "throne room" songs, then another medium upbeat song before the message. Not that this was a formula for every single weekend, but it seemed to work well in our body of believers.
There was this guy who came to the Saturday night service. He was relatively young (about 22-25 I think), and huge (about 6'-2", 250lbs.). He worked as a grocery bagger at the local grocery store. I believe he was slightly impaired by autism or some such condition, and this was obvious by the way he talked.
This guy LOVED praising God! He would stand up in the middle of the congregation and clap his hands with all his might. He had these huge hands, which made it possible to REALLY hear his praise! The only thing was... he couldn't keep a beat to save his life. I didn't care. It was awesome to see him praising with such zeal, and his praise was truly genuine. It blessed me to see him there, every Sat nite, giving his all to the Lord, expressing himself in a loud way that contradicted his normally, quiet, reserved personality.
One day during the week, a woman member of the church came to the church and took me aside. She started telling me how "Clapper" would always take the seat right behind her, and with tears welling up in her eyes, she shared how distracting it was for her. She told me that it was impossible for her to worship while this was going on right behind her. She asked if I might speak to the young man and give him one of those egg shakers instead of letting him continue with his offbeat, thunderous clapping, and if that didn't work, she would have to start attending the Sunday service. I suggested that she give the Sunday service a try.
There was no way in the world I was going to approach this guy and tell him that his praise was ugly to someone, knowing that it was beautiful to God. I truly saw the lady's dilemma, but I had to ask myself which one of them was more spiritually mature.
Good for you, Alan!!! I would have done the same thing or suggest she move her seat!!!
It was a pretty small sanctuary, Erika. There was nowhere she could have gone to escape the sound of this guy's praise! Besides, once it bothered her, it was going to continue to bother her until either:
a) we got a much bigger church
b) we started offering headphones to our congregation
c) God worked it out in her heart
You said it all
Thanks ErikaMichelle. You summed up the week beautifully.
The part of this week's study that hit me the hardest was day 2, the requirements for perfect praise:
-A worshipful and passionate heart (I'm asking God to give me passion)
-Approaching God as a little child- humble, trusting, totally dependent (I'm asking God to show me how to get myself out of the way so I can become totally dependent on Him)
-Perfect praise must be initiated by God (among other things, I need to let the plans for the Sunday services come from Him, not from my head)
I have made a commitment to God that I am going to stop leading the music and start leading worship. If I'm the only one worshipping visibly, it doesn't matter. My accountability is to God, first.
This week had a lot to try to absorb. And according to what Dwayne wrote on Monday, this week was still foundational. I'm nervous about what the walls are going to look like....
By the way, I have a name to go with my face. It is Tom Kline, but you can call me Wannabe.
Last edited by Wannabe a Worshiper; 01-23-2009 at 05:44 PM.
Praise is all I want to do!
It has been a great week. Tonight at church, I thank God for having me so in tune to praising and worshiping him in the spirit. It seems to me that I was singing to the top of my voice and I could feel the angels singing with me. All I could do was smile and thank God for revelation this week again in “Pure Praise,” and knowing that I am arriving to a deeper level of praise.
1. Singing - I Corinthians 14:15 “I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” Singing a New Song that only his glory could bring to me. Letting the words of Christ dwell in me while singing with grace in my hearts to the Lord
2. Standing and Listening - while the praise team glorified our God. It was so beautiful - I felt that God took me somewhere and showed me so many things. (I can not explain where I went) but it was a place of pure peace and harmony. For the word of God tells us in Philippians 4:8 “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”.
3. Dancing Before the Lord in the Spirit - this expression of praise was one that was the act of our will, one of obedience to God's revealed Word that we are to praise Him in the dance. As Ericka Michelle stated earlier “when the congregation moves out into the aisles and dances - The men, the women, the kids. Worshiping in the dance is so powerful. It releases our own selves to a place where we don't care what we look like, or who is watching. We dance for the Lord and that is all that matters.” As an act of our will, even if we feel awkward in doing so, we obey God and join in with other believers as they dance before the Lord.
4. Clapping Hands - the praise team sung a song tonight call “This is the way we praise the Lord - by clapping our hands”.
5. Flags - during one part of the praise and worship, all I could think of - if I had some flags. We have none in my church and my soul was aching for the waving of flags. When I finish my lesson tonight; I started searching and researching about the flags and why God has so heavily put this in my spirit. This is what I found:
A. But by using these flags prophetically, we are speaking in the spiritual realm, making declarations: “Jesus has made me righteous by His blood.” “I call on the Holy Spirit!” Do not look at what you can see, because it will pass away, but look at what you can't see. "And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.'' (Hebrews 1:7) We can't see them, but know they are around and are ministering to us at the Lord's command. As we pick up these banners in faith we are declaring things to the heaven lies that the Lord sees as a sacrifice of praise and worship and it has an effect. The first change I get next week, I am going to go and see where I can get me some flags.
6. Audible Praise - which in this study is praise that is not sung, such as clapping, playing instruments, etc?
A. Visible is not sung, such as kneeling, bowing, dancing, raising hands, standing, marching, and falling in a prostrate position.
Have a bless weekend everyone and may God continue to bless us as we bless others.
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