Words of Encouragement: Understanding Worship

During a special time of meditation, God led my thoughts to different “defining moments” in the life of a believer. These moments are those significant events that occur unexpectedly in the course of the day, that end up changing forever how we see life from that point forward.

For some, it might be a moment when you finally realize God’s purpose for your life; or when you understand for the first time the immensity of the sacrifice Jesus made just for you. Or it might be a teaching during which you finally wrap your head around the mystery of the Holy Trinity or come to grips with a difficult passage of scripture.

Whatever you include in your list of life-defining moments, the circumstance of your salvation is surely the most life-changing of them all.

One of my defining moments occurred on a visit to Seattle where I was to attend a conference on evangelism. I returned home with far more than new thoughts on evangelism. Instead, I possessed an entirely new outlook on the purpose of worship.

I was a relatively new Christian at the time and an enthusiastic student of the Bible. I read about worship in the Old Testament and the New, and believed that I fully understood the meaning of the word. The worship service every Sunday at our church was the highlight of my week.

Looking back, however, I can now see that I was merely going through the motions. At the conference in Seattle, the day began with a session of group prayer, followed by praise and worship led by a very gifted worship leader. Beginning at the crack of dawn, we didn’t finish up until the conference began its daily agenda, about two hours later.

The day would end with another hour or so of more prayer and worship before bedtime. Both sessions were equally simple, direct and heartfelt. This was worship as I had never experienced it.

It changed my understanding of true worship forever.

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