I don’t normally watch a lot of church services on TV but somehow I ended watching the Praise & Worship of one of those televised services.
The music was great – don’t get me wrong. And I don’t mean any offense by what I say but I thought it was over produced.
The lights flashed on and off in a strobe effect while colored lights alternated bright and dim. The singers backed up and did some little choreographed dance move.
While I watched I could see genuine worship in the audience and the team itself. And perhaps the person with their finger on switch that was flipping the lights on and off was also praising the Lord in this way.
While it was entertaining, the thought came to me “does God want to be entertained or praised?”
The answer is always in His word.
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Yes indeed, the Lord should be praised in all things.
However I have discovered you cannot choreograph praise.
It is spontaneous. It is not planned out. It is not timed. It is eruptive. It comes from inside your heart and soul to touch the face of God. It spreads. It’s contagious. It takes different forms.
Raised hands will praise the Lord as well as silent weeping. Standing will praise the Lord as well as falling face down at the altar. You can praise Him while sitting or prostrate on the ground.
You can praise Him in the best suit or dress and praise Him in torn jeans.
There are times when I’m on the praise team and spontaneous worship begins to happen. While we practice our songs – we never practice praise or worship. It just happens.