How to Worship with Abandon


Somebody asked recently how they could take their worship to the “next level “. That place of worship where something changes. Worshipping with abandon. 

Just so we’re on the same page with what that means … “abandon” – “complete lack of inhibition or restraint” 

Worshipping with abandon is worshipping in complete freedom. No inhibition or restraint. No worrying about what you look like or what the person next to you is doing … remember, audience of ONE. Yes, there is a lot to think about when you lead worship … (that’s a topic for another day) but no matter what, when it comes down to it, we worship for God’s Glory … to honor Him and commune with Him.

We have to remember another key idea when learning to worship with abandon. Scripture outlines many different postures and expressions of worship: 

  • Bowing (Psalm 95:6)
  • Standing (Psalm 119:120)
  • Dancing (Psalm 149:3)
  • Clapping (Psalm 47:1)
  • Lifting Hands (Psalm 63:4)

I remember seeing someone bow during worship once and thinking it seemed a little inappropriate for church. What on earth. Is there something MORE appropriate than bowing before our King?

So how do we get there?

Meditate Over The Lyrics 

  • Know the scriptural context of the song, the power of God’s word will change your worship if you let it.

Worship Personally – I can’t stress this one enough

  • Worship at home … you and God. Go.For.It.
  • Give him everything you have, meet Him in the secret place. Surrender. Praise. Celebrate. Adore. Let yourself go there.
  • Remember, it’s difficult to do something on the platform you’ve never done before. You don’t get up there and sing or play before you practice at home. Same concept.

Come With Gratitude 

  • Really think about what God has done – big and small; let that be where you worship from.
  • Write it down/ say it out loud – seeing it on paper or saying it out loud can help make it feel more real. “I have a place to live” “You’ve put me in a place to do what I love for your Glory”. “I can praise you freely in my country”. Don’t take these things for granted … I know I do. Let’s count our blessings. I challenge you to do this and see if you run out of blessings … He is a GOOD God.

Be Vulnerable 

  • Be broken – It’s ok. You really think there aren’t any other broken people in the room that won’t relate? Remember, we’re all people, we all have stuff. Worship through it.
  • Be open – To whatever God wants to do. Do you feel a prompting to lift your hands? Do it. Are you having to sing a song you don’t love? Sing it. Maybe pray though it – engage. We never know what God has in store or what He’ll use. Be open and ready for Him to move.
  • Be humble – Keep perspective. Remember, this isn’t about us. It’s about Him, and He’s worthy of everything we’ve got!

Praying that we … as His chosen people, His Children, can worship with abandon.

*originally posted at


Kristen Carden serves at Oak Hills Church in San Antonia, TX, & is one half of the worship duo, Kristen & Laura.