Worship is …

June 5, 2009 | 14 comments

“So what exactly does it mean to worship God?”

That’s the question that appeared in my inbox yesterday.
This was my answer:


I’m guessing it’s often at the altar,
but just as often not.

That sometimes, it’s set to music,
but more typically, not.

I’m guessing it’s sometimes under a steepled roof,
but more often it’s done outside the church’s front door.

I’m thinking it’s in my backyard hosta patch,
in my husband’s cornfield,
in a hospital nursery full of newborns.

It’s in the high-church liturgy —
and in the sweaty mosh pit at a rock concert.

I’ve worshipped at the kitchen sink,
and while reclining in a chair,
and while at the bedside of the dying.

It’s knowing that when I don’t,
the stones will.

It’s like what Brother Lawrence said,
when he wrote about practicing the presence of God
while washing dishes
and cooking meals.
There, in the clatter of the kitchen,
Brother Lawrence possessed this:
“God in as great tranquility as if
I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

It’s a heart that is at once shouting God’s praises,
and rended in humility.

It’s standing on the Rock,
and at once, falling to my knees.

That — I think — is worship.
Then again, it’s so much more….


Thank you to Marcus Goodyear for asking the question.

Photos of two places of worship:
Under the steeple of my church every Sunday.
And … at the end of a fishing dock with three of my favorite worshippers.

If worship is not about the place — but about the Object of my affection — who’s to say that the one place is greater than the other?

by | June 5, 2009 | 14 comments


  1. Prairie Chick

    Thank you for this my friend. I have been contemplating this myself. Worship as a lifestyle. It is what we are called to!

  2. Denise

    Worship is in the heart of one who hears, sees and lives God every moment of the day. He can be found in the mundane, the exciting, the ugly and the beautiful. When we "get our praise on", we see Him in places we don't always expect.


  3. Wendy

    I loved your different places to worship…while at the sink, etc. I read Brother Lawrence's book while in a Redidence Inn waiting to move into our home. Such wisdom! Now when I fold clothes I pray for the person whose clothes I'm folding. God is good everywhere and God is everywhere.
    ~ Wendy

  4. Jennifer

    Oh ladies, you've enriched worship for me even more this morning ….

    Prairie Chick's worship as a lifestyle; Denise's thought to "get our praise on" even over the ugly stuff; Wendy's idea of praying over the wearer of the clothes.

    You've all blessed me this morning. Alleluia.

  5. mom2six

    This quote one of my facebook friends posted yesterday comes to mind as I read your post and the comments…"The sacredness of the everyday. The mystery of accepting all things temporal so that I might fully welcome all things eternal. The longing for home is ultimately the longing for heaven." Worship…daily, mundane, everywhere…longing to be in His presence. In Jesus..

  6. isumom

    Worship is talking to and praising God…but worship is also the tending of his sheep. I am tending some very sad little sheep this weekend as we send one of our own off to war and leave behind his family, friends and the love of his life. As God tends to "my" sheep he also tends to me…and I too worship God as I help my children, my friends, and my daughter's "someday in-laws" through this bump in the road.

  7. RCUBEs

    Doesn't matter where we are, doesn't matter what we do…Worship is the condition of our hearts praising God in any given moment. Your post answered that question well.

    God bless.

  8. Monica

    So glad you took the time to give a thoughtful answer! I love it. I worship.

  9. christy rose

    To me worship is recognizing that Someone that is greater than me and worthy of me lifting my heart and mind in submission to His perfection. "You are right and I am not. I surrender to your awesome knowledge and wisdom. You are God alone."

  10. LisaShaw

    Worship is definitely a lifestyle. As Dr. Mary Ann Brown said, it's love responding to Love.

    My heart belongs to GOD and He alone do I worship.

    Thank you for a beautiful sharing. You are so precious.

  11. PW

    I'm learning its all about Jesus and having a relationship with Him and getting to know Him through reading the Word and praying. (no matter where/when)

  12. katdish

    Wow. That's amazing. I want to print that out and put it on my refrigerator door!

    It's really hard not to use the term worship to describe singing, especially when you happen to be on a worship team. But you're right, if that's all it is to you, then it's not even that.

  13. Tea With Tiffany

    Worship is the reason I live. There's nothing sweeter than knowing God and acknowledging He is near.

    Loved this too…


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