Worship is how we express our love, adoration, admiration, and wonder at God’s presence. The Christian breathes in God’s goodness and exhales worship.
For a lot of the church, worship has become synonymous with singing—but that’s just one way that worship expresses itself. True worship happens when our entire life becomes a declaration of trust in God’s incredible mercy.
Paul expressed this very idea when he said, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1)
Here are 20 powerful and inspiring quotes to help you understand worship better. (You can download all these images for free to use in your worship software, bulletin, or on social media here.)
1. Worship is practice for eternity
“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”—A.W. Tozer
Someday worship will be an integral part of our everyday existence. It will not be an activity that comes from faith but will be a natural response that arises from the first-hand experience with the living God.
2. We desperately need to worship
“I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.”—John Ortberg
God uses worship to recenter our priorities and reestablish where our security lies. We can be taught why it’s important to praise and glorify God, but until it’s a regular part of our lives, we’ll never understand how God is using it to keep us focused.
3. Seeking a worshipful spirit
“You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”—Augustine of Hippo
In this world, our hunger for worship will wax and wane. It’s appropriate and imperative that we ask God to rekindle a worshipful spirit within us. Sometimes the most powerful prayer we can pray is, “God, make me a worshiper.”
4. Worship springs from amazement
“We are perishing for lack of wonder, not for lack of wonders.”—G.K. Chesterton
We live in an amazing world that doesn’t lack for awe-inspiring marvels of nature and technology. It’s critical that we don’t become deadened to wonder because astonishment is a raw material for worship.
The moment we lose that childlike sense of wonder, it’s hard to worship with any real vigor.
5. Worship arises from the right priorities
“Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else.”—Charles Spurgeon
Every human being has a natural inclination toward worship. If our world isn’t rightly ordered, we will end up worshiping and serving things besides God. It isn’t until we’re able to rightly prioritize God above everything else in our world that we can begin to worship in spirit and truth.
6. We worship an amazing God
“Many Spirit-filled authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves. His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can’t contain Him. Isn’t it a comfort to worship a God we cannot exaggerate?”—Francis Chan
It’s mindblowing to think that we can worship God for thousands of years and never exhaust his worshipful attributes. If we become bored with worship, it’s likely that we’ve lost sight of this truth.
7. Music is a divine gift
“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.”—Martin Luther
There’s a reason that nearly every culture and religion incorporates worship into the act of worship. Music stirs some portion of our hearts that intellect alone cannot touch. When you think about it, it’s strange that music should exist at all. But somewhere, at some time, someone sang the first song—and it was a gift of God’s grace.
8. Worship is the right response to God
“Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.”—D.A. Carson
No one has to teach a Christian to worship God. In some way, every believer responds worshipfully to an encounter with God. It’s really the only rational response. If we never feel those pulls toward worship, it might be a sign that we’re drifting away from our first love.
9. Worship is a remedy for apathy
“Who will deny that true religion consists, in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart? That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless, wishes, raising us but a little above a state of indifference.”—Jonathan Edwards
When we experience a life-changing encounter with God, worship is a natural impulse. As Christians mature, however, we discover that worship can’t simply be reactive. We must learn to be proactive in glorifying God, even when it’s not our current disposition. As David was known to do, we need to command ourselves to worship by declaring:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”—Psalm 43:5
10. We choose to worship
“Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which ‘comes upon you,’ but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.”—Graham Kendrick
There are times when something stirs in our hearts and everything inside of us responds in worship, but those are grace-filled promptings of the Spirit. It’s important that we make worship a conscience choice, and a willful act.
11. Worship must be grounded in truth
“The worship to which we are called in our renewed state is far too important to be left to personal preferences, to whims, or to marketing strategies. It is the pleasing of God that is at the heart of worship. Therefore, our worship must be informed at every point by the Word of God as we seek God’s own instructions for worship that is pleasing to Him.”—R.C. Sproul
While we all have personal preferences for the kinds of music we enjoy or the sort of environments we find most worshipful, our praise should be grounded in our common understanding of God from his word.
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12. Watching out for fuzzy worship
“Put it this way: if your idea of God, if your idea of the salvation offered in Christ, is vague or remote, your idea of worship will be fuzzy and ill-formed. The closer you get to the truth, the clearer becomes the beauty, and the more you will find worship welling up within you. That’s why theology and worship belong together. The one isn’t just a headtrip; the other isn’t just emotion.”—N.T. Wright
If our understanding of God is poor, our worship will be too. It’s important that our worship comes out of an ever-increasing knowledge of who God is and what he has done for us.
13. Worship should touch our emotions
“We should know and celebrate God with our whole person. While too many Christians neglect to serve God with the mind, others cultivate only their minds and neglect the emotional aspects of worship.”—Craig S. Keener
While our worship needs to be grounded in the Word and the right understanding of God, that doesn’t mean that it should be a purely intellectual enterprise. There are times when worship should touch our hearts so dramatically that an emotional response is only natural.
14. Our work can become worship
“Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of his presence.”—Rick Warren
Everything we do can be an expression of worship. What matters is our posture towards God when we’re doing it. With the right attitude, digging a ditch can be as much an act of worship as attending a church service.
15. Turning our tasks into adoration
“Cause every task of your day to be a sacred ministry to the Lord. However mundane your duties, for you they are a sacrament.”—Richard Foster
There are no inconsequential activities. When we live lives of worship, every activity becomes infused with significance. And we turn our daily activities into worship as we offer them to the Lord.
16. We are God’s temple for worship
“There are no unique postures and times and limitations that restrict our access to God. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. The Christian does not go to the temple to worship. The Christian takes the temple with him or her. Jesus lifts us beyond the building and pays the human body the highest compliment by making it His dwelling place, the place where He meets with us.”—Ravi Zacharias
The reason that everything we do can be an act of worship is that God has made each one of us a temple where he dwells through the Holy Spirit. When we become aware of that presence, every moment of our day is sacred.
17. Worship is part of a healthy spiritual life
“But just as your body needs sleep, your soul needs time to rest in God. To learn more about Him. To talk to Him. To worship and praise Him. To fellowship with other brothers and sisters.”—Craig Groeschel
Like food and water, worship is a necessary part of human existence. It’s easy to think that we can exist without it because we still exhibit all the outwards signs of life, but that’s not the existence we were created to have. We were created to flourish.
18. We’re transformed by what we worship
“From your heroes you pick up mannerisms and phrases and tones of voice and facial expressions and habits and demeanors and convictions and beliefs. The more admirable the hero is and the more intense your admiration is, the more profound will be your transformation. In the case of Jesus, he is infinitely admirable, and our admiration rises to the most absolute worship. Therefore, when we behold him as we should, the change is profound.”—John Piper
Paul reminds the Corinthians that they’re transformed by what they fix our attention on. (2 Cor. 3:18) In this sense, worship is a tool that God is using to transform us. As we focus on glorifying him for his amazing attributes, we begin to reveal the same characteristics. When we worship God we develop such traits as forgiveness, tenderness, justice, righteousness, purity, kindness, and love.
19. Worship is selfless
“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service.”—Billy Graham
Worship cannot simply be about singing the songs we enjoy or doing our favorite activities. If that’s all it is, then it’s ultimately something we do for ourselves. By making ourselves living sacrifices, we remove ourselves from the equation and discover worship that’s grounded in Christ. Worship should be an activity that is teaching us humility—and not an opportunity for self-indulgence.
20. The world needs to see our worship
“God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises ‘before the nations.’ We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the gospel before them.”—Timothy J. Keller
Everyone in the world is worshiping something because their spirits are hungry. For most people, their worship amounts to spiritual junk food. The world is longing to experience something truly worthy of praise. When they see us making ourselves living sacrifices in true worship, they discover the nourishment they’ve been starving for.
Worship: God’s tool for renewal
It would be enough if our worship simply honored and magnified God, but he uses it to edify us as well. Worship prepares us to spend eternity with Christ by drawing us closer to him, making us more aware of his amazing attributes, and conforming us to his image. If you’re interested in discovering what the Bible says about worship, check out the post 20 Bible Verses about Worship.