Praise and worship scriptures guide us in how worship looks different than anything we have seen in the world and allow us to participate in fellowship with God.
Angels sing to God in the throne room day and night (Revelation 4:8, NIV), but as 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (NIV).
Those who worship God have something in common– a heart after God.
Praise and worship are found throughout the Bible, and it seeps into every part of our lives when we follow Jesus because the main focus is lifting up God in all things and reverently (or with deep respect) following His will.
I’ve often pondered Revelation 4:8. Why would God need us to worship when He has angels do so in the throne room? The answer shows how truly gracious God is and the powerful gift He gave us to praise and worship Him.
The Power of Praise and Worship Scriptures
God gives us the opportunity to worship Him. He doesn’t need us to do so but wants a relationship with His children. We can worship God because of His deep love for us.
Many people demonstrate how to worship God in the Bible. Some include Abraham, who worshiped with faith; David, who praised God with psalms; and the best worshiper, Jesus, who worshiped through obedience.
In each of their lives, we can see the power of trusting in God and obeying His Word. That same power is still available and alive today.
Learning how to worship and praise God is an essential part of living a Christian life.
How to Use Praise and Worship Scriptures
As I type, I’m reminiscing about the scripture that opened the door to my desire to seek God more intimately in worship: Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (NIV).
I learned that being a living sacrifice sometimes meant putting God’s will before my wants. Or praising Him even if every muscle and thought made an excuse to stay silent.
God’s Word is living and powerful. It is unlike the empty promises that we’ve all heard before. Praise and worship scriptures are full of life. We can utilize these scriptures as a powerful tool in our lives. Some ways include:
- As a reminder of God’s Word
- To battle trials with the power of His promises
- To better understand the characteristics of worship and praise
- and to know God better
Praise and Worship Scriptures
We can find many examples of praise and worship scriptures in the book of Psalms, but it’s not the only place. The rest of God’s Word has fantastic examples of worship that extend beyond the realm of singing.
God has created us wonderfully unique, and the way we worship has the opportunity to look just as special. Some practices described in the scriptures below include singing, dancing, prayer, obedience, shouting, and crying.
But these aren’t the only ways; there are so many scriptures about worship that it could take days (maybe even years) to begin understanding the depth of what it means to worship God.
Here are some of my favorite scriptures when I need a good, powerful reminder of how to worship and praise the Lord.
Matthew 16:24, CEV
Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me.
Worshiping God means that He is at the center, not us. Jesus was honest about the difficulties, telling us that worship takes self-discipline.
Proverbs 9:10, AMP
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence], And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.
I love how the Amplified Version describes “fear of the Lord.” Since translating words doesn’t always capture the full essence, we know that fearing God doesn’t mean being afraid of Him but having deep and profound awe of Him. It’s recognizing how magnificent He is.
Matthew 9:21-22, NIV
She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
Worship is faith that God will do as He promises. It’s trusting that His way is better than our own.
Matthew 15:8-9, CEB
These people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human rules.
God doesn’t need eloquent speeches; He wants our hearts. We are created in His image and desire honest relationships as well.
This verse is a great inside view of God’s heart.
Psalm 21:13, NIV
Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might.
I love how the authors of the Psalms address God. Rather than focusing on self, they turn their eyes towards the Lord.
Psalm 30:5, NIV
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
I pictured worship as an eyes-closed-heavy-atmosphere type of experience. But, much like the rest of God’s creation, it has different sides. Sometimes weeping, others rejoicing.
Worship can happen both in the valleys and on the mountaintops of life.
Psalm 32:5, AMPC
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
There are two parts here: confessing and waiting. When we acknowledge our sins, it’s a form of worship since we’re being obedient.
Waiting allows us to actively turn our attention away from the things around us and onto God.
Matthew 26:39, AMP
And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”
This scripture is powerful because it shows Jesus putting aside flesh to follow God’s will. His obedience is seen in every step He took while on earth.
Leviticus 6:13, NIV
The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
You may wonder how this is a worship scripture, and I was hesitant to add it to the list. However, it takes effort to keep a fire burning.
We must continue to seek God, and the best way to keep that fire going is to feed it with scripture, worship, prayer, fasting, and self-discipline. When we stop feeding the fire, it goes out.
Psalm 27:14, NIV
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Here is that word again: waiting. I sometimes feel like this word pops out of the page at me as if it were specifically meant to calm my anxious heart.
Waiting is hard but worth it.
Psalm 69:3, NIV
I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.
Life isn’t always easy, but God is always there. Though our strength may fail, His never does.
God has given us the ability to worship during life’s lows.
Deuteronomy 8:11, NLT
But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today.
It’s easy to get off track, especially when everything is well. Children don’t usually run to their parents until there’s a problem, but as God’s children, we can change that habit.
Deuteronomy 10:12, AMPC
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but [reverently] to fear the Lord your God, [that is] to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being,
Fear of the Lord and fear of circumstances are different because fear of God brings peace, while the other promotes anxiety. Several examples of worship are listed here: walking in God’s ways, loving Him, and serving God with all our hearts and mind.
Deuteronomy 12:4, NLT
Do not worship the Lord your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods.
What a great verse! Worship looks different depending on who is at the center.
1 Peter 5:6, NLV
So put away all pride from yourselves. You are standing under the powerful hand of God. At the right time He will lift you up.
Pride is an enemy to worship because praise and worship require us to submit to God’s will.
Colossians 3:1, NIV
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Part of worship is trusting in what we don’t yet see. This is an excellent reminder of where to turn and what to look at– Jesus.
Luke 16:10, NIV
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
This applies to many areas of our walk with Christ. Concerning worship, it’s a great reminder to continue looking to God regardless of the trial or blessing.
Luke 16:13, NLT
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.”
Luke 16:13 puts what, or who, we worship in perspective. So when we start despising worshiping God, we should look at what is taking our time and attention.
James 5:13, NIV
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
Worship and praise don’t have to be serious moments all the time. God did create laughter and joy. When you’re happy, praise God happily.
1 Samuel 15:22, NLT
But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
Submitting takes courage. It requires us to trust in something other than ourselves.
Obedience keeps us from falling far from God. The good news is that even though we fall short, God is faithful.
John 4:24, NIV
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.
I say this for many scriptures, but this really is my favorite. I feel like God plainly tells us how we must worship– with Spirit and truth.
At first, I thought truth only meant believing in the Bible. I’ve since learned that it means being truthful with God, opening up my heart, giving Him all my cares and concerns, and then trusting, believing, and waiting for Him.
2 Kings 5:13, NIV
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”
I highly suggest reading the whole story on Naaman. Naaman was from a different land, but he showed what it means to worship by obediently following instructions.
I also love the simplicity here. Not everything God calls us to do will be a big, grand gesture. Sometimes it’s getting up and walking out the door in the morning even when we don’t want to.
Romans 2:13, NLT
For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.
Here’s more on obedience. Paul reminds us that obedience isn’t simply listening but doing.
1 Chronicles 23:30, NLT
And each morning and evening they stood before the Lord to sing songs of thanks and praise to him.
When should we praise and worship God? All the time. There is another golden nugget in 1 Chronicles– the where.
We can worship God anywhere as long as we invite Him in.
Though God doesn’t need us to worship Him, He allows us to do so. Worship gives us a chance to get closer to God.
Are you looking for some tools and tips to boost your prayer life? If so, be sure to visit our Prayer Resources Library where you’ll find everything you need to become a powerful prayer warrior!
Whenever troubles come, and life tries to throw lemons at you, sitting in His Word can strengthen your spiritual armor.
Worship takes us out of our minds and into God’s hands. But none of that can be done without first reading His Word.
Worshiping God is a journey, and He has provided tools in scripture that help us better understand what it means to worship Him.
Veronica blogs at A Worshipper’s Devotional, where she shares daily devotionals, biblical truths, and her journey of worshiping God. She wants others to know that they can have a deep, intimate connection with God through worship.