Heart of Worship (By Shane Prewitt)

Twenty years ago, worship leader Matt Redman penned the words of a song that has become a classic worship song over the years entitled, “The Heart of Worship”.  The first verse and chorus simply but profoundly states:

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart


I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus

While worship to God is not limited to singing, the Bible does have a lot to say about the important role it plays in our lives in expressing our affection and thanksgiving to Him. Even when in prison for preaching in the name of Jesus, Paul and Silas found reason to sing praises to God for His goodness in their lives.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God… (Acts 16:25)
Over the years there has been much angst in many churches about the style of songs that we sing in our churches. Some people say you should sing songs but only with voices, no instruments. Others say, you should sing songs but only with certain instruments.
But does God have a preference when it comes to the type of songs we sing back to Him?
The answer to that question is an emphatic “YES”, according to Isaiah.
Isaiah reminds us that God’s pleasure is not contingent on what we sing, but the condition of the heart from which it is sung.
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men” (Isaiah 29:13).
The most important aspect of our singing and worship directed to God is not primarily our preferences and desires. A simple study of the book of Psalms makes clear that God loves variety when it comes to musical praise directed back to Him.
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150).
While God seems to enjoy variety when it comes to human expression of praise directed back to Him, what He does require is that worship comes from a heart that is near to Him. Much more important to God than the style of song we sing, is our attitude and the intent of our heart. However we express our worship to Him, it needs to be directed with hearts full of worship and love.
So let’s always draw near to the heart or worship each time we gather together as a congregation to express our praise and thanksgiving back to God for all that He has done for us.