Spiritual Practice of Worship

Worship appears on the list of spiritual disciplines discussed by Richard J. Foster and Dallas Willard–my mentors in spiritual formation.

I seldom discuss this practice. Maybe because I grew up in a liturgical church. I suppose the liturgy was the worship. My wife grew up in an evangelical church. For her worship was singing hymns and having prayers and listening to the choir. Then the preacher used 40 minutes or more of the 60 minutes to exhort the people to come forward and be saved.

I don’t have national statistics for the US, but in my area which could realistically be labeled Bible Belt it would be a rare weekend for more than 25% of the people to go somewhere to worship.

Worship is tied to church membership in most minds and many GenX and Millennials shy away from all the negative images of church membership. In many ways I don’t blame them. I’ve lived the good and the bad. Sort of like an old child’s story, “When it’s good it’s very, very good; and when it’s bad it’s horrid.”

Psalm 95 refers to worship as joyful. Something that should warm our hearts as we acknowledge the existence of the creator God.

The psalm also warns us to beware of a hardened heart.

That brings me around to the core of the Gospel–it’s about the status of our hearts.

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