Praising God’s Mighty Works
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, penned these words in 1761: “Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing [God] more than yourself, or any other creature…See that your heart is…offered to God continually.”1 Wesley reminds us that worship is about praise and thanksgiving offered to God. The sacrifice that we offer to God is our hearts, thoughts, and voices. We are to be mindful continually of God’s presence with and among us in worship.
Learning what the nudging of the Holy Spirit feels like to you takes time and practice. What you sense in worship can translate to your life of work, family, friends, community, and vocation. Worship is discipline and practice.
Wesley knew that congregants need help and guidance when learning how to worship. We need reminders that worship is not about the people in the pews. Instead, it’s about the Lord out of the abandoned grave. We offer to God what we can: our voices, thoughts, and undivided attention. It takes practice to offer our hearts to God continually. The lessons and practices we learn in worship help us to sense God everywhere in our lives.
What in worship reminds you of God’s presence with and among you? How is worship a practice, or how does worshipping teach us how to worship? How is worship a spiritual discipline to place ourselves in God’s presence? How do you practice offering your heart to God continually?
The United Methodist Hymnal, page vii.
Katie Shockley is a licensed local pastor in The United Methodist Church. Katie and her husband Steve are full time RVers, traveling across the country with their two cats.