“My desire for unhindered worship in my own life continues to grow as I understand more and more about who God is and what He has already done in my life.” Mike Harland "Seven Words of Worship"
Throughout the Bible we find accounts of how people reacted to God’s presence in worship. Some of the acts of worship demonstrated are: singing, shouting clapping raising hands, dancing playing instruments and praying. Today in many of our places of worship there is a renewed freedom to be active in much the same ways as found in scripture.
Many of the actions above involve worshippers to be active/physical participants. There are still other acts of worship that seem to be more passive: praying, kneeling, and silence. Although these require less action on the part of the participant they often are the hardest to get worshippers to participate in.
Today silence in a service is considered ‘dead’ time. When in reality it can be a sacred time of listening to God’s ‘still small voice.’
Praying, a verbal/personal communication to God is often led by one leader which never gives the worshippers a chance to speak their own words.
A great word for worship is surrender and kneeling or lying prostrate before the Lord can be a physical symbol of our surrender to God. In our places of worship today we have almost made it impossible for the worshippers to kneel. We have taken away the kneelers between the rows of seats and many places have taken away the ‘prayer’ altars at the front of worship centers. I do not think we have to go back and change our architecture. I do believe we need to plan specific times of prayer in our service. I do believe we need to educate and train our congregation that ‘it is okay’ to come to the front and kneel in prayer or even lay prostrate before our God.
The freedom that people feel in our places of worship to be active participants is wonderful. Now we as worship leaders need to be intentional on how we plan our services and educate our people to all of the acts of worship. We as worship leaders must be willing to model this type of worship…it is our job.