Starving for Corporate Worship of God

There are two types of songs typically sung in Churches.  There are those that are directed to us and those directed to God.  Both types are acceptable.

The songs directed to us normally declare how great and good God is, or include a call for us to worship Him.  Typical lines of these songs include:

Declarations:

  • God is Great and His mercy endures forever.
  • Our God is an awesome God.
  • The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice.
  • He is Lord, every knee shall bow.

Call to Worship:

  • Exalt the Lord Our God, and Worship at His footstool.
  • Come worship the Lord, let us exalt His name together.
  • How great is our God, sing with me.
  • Let us proclaim His majesty.

After we have declared how great He is, and how worthy He is of our worship, and after calling the Church to worship this great and loving God, then it would seem logical to actually worship Him. However, typically what happens is that the time allotted for corporate worship expires, and we all sit.

This is analogous to arriving for a sprint race, setting up the blocks, and waiting under the starter’s orders. The adrenalin is flowing and excitement mounts as you wait in the blocks. “On your Mark” (analogous to declaring that God is good and worthy of our praise), “Get Set” (analogous to calling people to worship this loving God), Get Set, Get Set, Get Set, Get Set. OK, times up. Back to the dressing room.

Many have been conditioned to believe that the ‘race’ consists of simply getting in and out of the blocks, without actually running.  They happily repeat this process every week and comment on how well the race went.  However, it must be frustrating to those who know that after “Get Set” has been declared, “Go!” must follow.

Yes, I can and do worship God alone; however, in my community, once a week for approximately one half hour I get the opportunity to worship God corporately.  Regrettably, my experience is that such opportunities for actually worshipping God are not frequent.

The typical experience goes something like this.

We sing: “Our God is an awesome God, He reigns in heaven above …”

In my mind is say: I agree with you, He truly is awesome.

“Great and mighty is He, clothed in glory …”

Yes He is mighty. I am fully convinced of this.

“How great is our God, sing with me …”

Yes, I am singing with and to you. But, when can we actually sing to our God?

“Let us proclaim His majesty. …”

Ok, we have proclaimed it repeatedly. Can we worship Him now? Pleeeaaase.

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and enter His courts with praise …”

Yes, let us do this.  Can we address God now?

“time’s up, sit please.”

What?  What happened?  Oh no. Not again.  Why, why, why are you doing this? Good grief!

Last Sunday, we sang to ourselves again.  As usual, I participated fully, but in the hope that at least one of the songs would have been directed to God in order to facilitate our worship of Him.  I hoped in vain.  However, this time, the unrealized optimistic hope resulted in more than the mental anguish.  This time I felt sharp pains in my arm and chest.

I imagined that God was on His throne, and Gabriel reported to Him. “Your people are singing to themselves again.”  I wonder what God thinks when this is all that we do.  Since I am frustrated to the point of physical pain after 30 years, I cannot imagine the hurt that God must feel. However, He is longsuffering and patient.

To preserve my life, I have resigned myself not to expect that any songs will be directed to God during the time scheduled on Sunday for corporate worship.  I realize that I may be pleasantly surprised once in a while, but I will not have an expectant attitude.  I believe that if I continue in hope, then when I am in the casket, you may wonder whether it was the stress from work or home that did me in.  While I can still respond, let me say that it was neither.

Before I sign off, let me give some examples of songs that are directed to God.

  • God you are good and Your mercy endures forever.
  • God You are my God, and I will celebrate you.
  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways.
  • You, we worship You.
  • I love You Lord, and I lift my voice.
  • You deserve the glory, and the honor.
  • You did not wait for me to draw near to you.

There are many more and some can be found here or below.  Just click on “Worship Song”.

http://www.lifewayworship.com/findAndBuy/home

Regards,

Grenville

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2 responses to “Starving for Corporate Worship of God

  1. This is a valuable resource. Thanks very much. I spent a summer in Jamaica a couple years ago – and learned so much from the worshippers there.

  2. Hi John:

    I am happy that the link has been of some assistance.

    Regards,
    Grenville

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