Joy: Hannah’s Prayer. Mary’s Song.



Worship: More than what we do on Sunday Morning

On Monday, I shared Psalm 95:6-7 and a contemporary version of the classic hymn “O worship the King.” I am continuing my focus on worship in this new post, beginning with the J. B. Phillips translation of Romans 12:1-2:

“With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give Him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable by Him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity” (emphasis added).

It is not unusual for worship to be associated with that time during a Christian gathering, such as a Sunday morning service, or during private moments with God, when songs are sung and words of praise and exaltation are offered, with varied levels of expressiveness, e.g., hands lifted. Romans 12:1, however, informs us that worship is more than what we do during an appointed time. It is what we do with our lives. It begins with us offering ourselves to Him without reservation, and then living, what The Message translation refers to as our “everyday, ordinary life” our “sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life,” for Him alone.

For us, His children, there is no true division of the secular and the sacred. It is all sacred. All for Him. An example of this “life-as-worship” is seen in the story of the prophet Samuel. In a nutshell, Hannah, his mother, was the favorite of his father’s wives, but she had no children. In answer to her fervent, anguished prayer, God blessed her with a child, Samuel, whom, after he was weaned, she kept her promise to give him to God, literally. This is such a rich story, I encourage you to read it in its entirety again or for the first time.

Hear Hannah’s words to Eli, the priest, recorded in the last two verses of 1 Samuel 1, followed by a pointed notation: “’I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.’ And he worshiped the LORD there”* (emphasis added). “There” for Samuel was the temple where he lived.  May each of us give our whole life to the LORD and worship Him with our lives, day by day, wherever our “there” maybe. This is worship in its truest, most complete rendering.

* New International Version

Post edited on 9/9/2015