“Whenever the living beings give glory and honour and thanks to the One sitting on the throne (the One who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the One sitting on the throne (the One who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.””
Revelation 4:9-11 NLT
How do we worship God? With our thoughts? Or with an extravagance of gestures or postures? There were no doubts in the minds of the twenty four elders – they fell down before God. And they selflessly handed over their precious crowns, laying them before His throne.
I often think it a shame that many people like me, who yearn for the ability to be unconsciously uninhibited in their worship of God, find it so hard to break through the conditioning of those early years, when we were taught that emotion, particularly in men and boys, was not to be displayed. The “stiff upper lip” prevailed. Pain and tears must be suppressed. And, sadly, it is very difficult to cast all that aside. In my morning prayer walks through the West Fife woods in Scotland, I would often wish to cry out to God in praise and worship, overcome by the beauty and awesomeness of God’s creation. But what if someone heard me? Happily, one day all the inhibitions will be discarded, because there will be no choice. God has to be worshipped with every fibre of our beings.
Worship of God can take many forms. We sing and shout. We compose lyrics for songs. We write poems and prose. We raise our hands in times of praising God, as exhorted in Psalm 134:2, “Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the Lord“. Incidentally, do we do that? The Christian church has adopted the pose of two hands clasped together at chest height. A safe way of raising our hands? Perhaps. But was the psalmist proposing that we stretch out our arms and hands towards Heaven? The unsafe way?
But with a sigh, we pilgrims reach out to God, who understands our difficulties. We thank Him for His encouragement as He walks and talks with us through our lives. Step by step. Day by day. Responding to His grace and love in the way that we can. Looking forward to that day when the worship of God will be as natural as breathing.
Dear Heavenly Father. We praise and worship You today. We’re so deeply grateful for Your presence, Your loving kindness, and graciousness. What else can we do but worship You? Amen.