The Postures Of Worship
True worship is defined by the attitude of the heart more than an action of the hands or lips. This doesn’t mean that you can avoid the activities of the body by claiming that you are ‘worshiping on the inside, and that’s what counts.’ Don’t try to play God or other people. If you are truly worshiping, it will work its way out into the natural elements of singing, shouting, dancing, clapping, the raising of hands, kneeling, crying, smiling, etc. Worship is a funny thing in that it can cause us to have seemingly competing emotional responses in our experience. That’s okay. One expression of worship is not superior to another, as long as both are done in the spirit of honesty. But what about these competing expressions?
Sometimes we feel like standing to worship. Other times we feel like sitting or kneeling. And I’ve even worshipped laying down stretched out on the floor. Each of these postures flow from an appreciation of who God is in the moment. They also reflect an understanding of who I am. I want to break it down a little bit and hopefully this will resonate with you, and encourage you in your worship time.
Sometimes you may feel like standing while you worship. This can reflect the idea that you are a victorious child coming in to show your gratitude and praise for your magnificent warrior Father. We stand when someone important enters a room, like a judge, or a person being honored. We stand when our favorite team rushes onto the field. We stand when our nation’s flag is presented. Standing is a posture of celebration and honor.
There are occasions when you may feel like worshiping while seated or kneeling. This can reflect the idea that you are waiting for God to speak. There is nothing wrong with sitting quietly in anticipation. In a hospital waiting room, some people will be pacing the floor while others will be reservedly sitting in contemplation, awaiting news from the doctor. Just as we are directed by Scripture to celebrate our King, we are also instructed to wait upon Him. If a king is going to bestow an honor on an individual, it is customary for that person to take a knee and await the blessing. Sitting and kneeling are postures of contentment and expectation.
And still other times you may stretch out on the floor in a posture that often reflects desperation. When I can’t stand, and I don’t even have the strength to sit up or kneel, I can lie down before my Creator. The first human was stretched out on the ground right before God breathed life into his body. This incredibly humble gesture may be the result of being crushed, or it may reflect the idea that you wish to be reformed by God. Lying down is a posture of brokenness and surrender.
Whatever your posture, remember that the subject of your worship is the One who made you, loves you, and wants fellowship with you. Don’t assume the posture of another worshiper simply to fit in. Rather, let the presence of God and the position of your heart determine the posture of your worship. One writer who was overcome with the wonder of God put it this way...
“Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord, shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout triumphantly to Him in song.
For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
The depths of the earth are in His hand, and the mountain peaks are His.
The sea is His; He made it. His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep under His care.” (Psalm 95:1-7)
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My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.