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 and the sheep of His hand.  Psalm 95:6-7a


Worship can take many forms. One is prayer. As we enter into prayer, we need to have an attitude of reverence toward God, an attitude of worship. When we pray, we are entering into the Holy of Holies - the dwelling place of God. We need to humble ourselves as we enter into His presence, for we are on holy ground. We are reminded throughout Scripture of God's holiness. Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; (Ps. 96:9) Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy hill, for holy is the LORD our God. (Ps 99:9) You shall be holy, for I am holy. (1 Pet 1:16)

The Holman Bible Dictionary has this to say about worship.

Worship-Human response to the perceived presence of the divine, a presence which transcends normal human activity and is holy. Thus, Jacob, fleeing away to Haran, perceived the presence of the Lord in a dream while sleeping at "a certain place," and when he woke from his sleep, he said: Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it! ... How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven (Gen. 28:16-17 NRSV).

Before the dream, the place had only been a stopping place reached by sunset (28:11), but when he awoke it had become a holy place. The holy presence of God had penetrated into ordinary (profane) space in a way which had aroused acute awareness on the part of a human being. The sacred (holy) and profane are united in an experience of worship.

The consciousness of holy presence brings forth a response from those who perceived it. The response is worship and may take many forms. The response may be private and intensely personal, in the form of prayers, confessions, silence, and meditative experiences of various sorts.

Jesus, leaving the disciples behind in a place called Gethsemane, went a ways from them to fall on the ground and pray alone to the Father (Mark 14:32-35). According to Matthew 26:39 (NRSV), he "threw himself on the ground and prayed"; according to Luke 22:41, he "knelt down, and prayed" (NRSV). Each of these is a physical posture considered appropriate for worship in prayer.

Jacob's response was to take the stone he had used for a pillow and to set it up as a pillar, declaring that the stone pillar would be a house of God, apparently meaning that a temple/sanctuary would be built there. This would be a place where communication could occur between the divine-heavenly realm and the human-earthly realm. The messengers of God would be continually going up and down bearing the petitions of worshipers and the responses of God. Thus Jacob proposed that his personal experience of the presence of God be made available to others.

There are times and seasons for worship, even though in the Bible God is present with His people at anytime. Sharpened awareness of the divine presence may result from intensive exercises of worship during special times and at special places. The Psalms with expressions of lament, confession, thanksgiving, praise, teaching, and  celebration show the breadth of Old Testament worship.  

The followers of Jesus, who became known as Christians, received a rich heritage of worship from Judaism, but the new dynamics of their experience with Christ brought about major changes. The awareness of divine presence, however symbolized and realized, is absolutely essential for worship. Like Jacob, every true worshiper becomes aware that "The Lord is in this place!" Marvin E. Tate

God is holy. It is by coming into contact with Jehovah M'Kaddesh - The Lord who sanctifies - that we are made holy. Through Christ we have access into the Holy of Holies. Let us come in His holy presence through prayer and worship Him today. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

©2002 Pray-Today


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