The phrase ‘Praise and Worship’ used to annoy me. You know how it goes, the fast songs are praise and the slow songs are worship. It’s really limited when you think of it that way.
What frustrated me, even more, was the question, ‘What did you get out of worship?’ For the longest time, whether at a big youth conference or during the usual Friday night, I was overwhelmed by the fact that everyone around me seemed to be on some spiritual high while I was left behind, squinting past the smoke machine, wondering when God was going to ‘give me something’ during worship.
But I remember when my dad was leading kids worship, while I ran the slides, he’d start with a little talk. He’d tell the kids they can praise God in the playground, when they wash dishes, and while they’re playing a sport. He’d tell them that by obeying their parents, being kind to their siblings and by sharing with their friends they’re worshipping God.
I realised that worship isn’t actually for us. It’s for God.
Worship the way we give up our lives for God and furthermore, praise is when we thank him and give him glory for who he is. This applies during the music too. Receiving from God in these moments is good, but don’t take all that time for granted; a relationship with God is give and take.
So yes, the fast songs can have lyrics of praise and the slow songs can cultivate an attitude of worship. In that time you should be consciously thinking about how good God is as opposed to passively singing words. Just don’t limit your praise and worship to the Sunday set list. Praise God because he’s good. Worship him in all you do. That’s how it’s really done.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” Psalms 103:1