5th May 2017

Praising The Lord 

“…the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”
Nehemiah 8:5-6 (NIVUK)

When it comes to participative, communal worship, there is a variety of patterns in Scripture. Just as we look to the New Testament for examples of how worship was conducted, so the early Judaeo-Christians would look to the Old Testament.

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah make exciting reading. They detail how some of the Jews returned to Jerusalem from captivity, and how their leaders sought a spiritual renewal among the people as well as the physical re-building of the city wall.

In Nehemiah 8:6 several points are of note with regards to worship. One is that, in this instance, the praise was led by Ezra himself instead of being delegated to someone else. It is important to share the responsibility of leading praise, but sometimes it’s good for the pastoral figure to lead the praise. Also, note that the people respond. Worship is not passive, but rather it’s about responsive involvement.

The response was “Amen! Amen!”, implying that the people were listening and that they agreed with what was being said and sung in the praise. The people stood up to join in, they lifted their hands, and they bowed down. Some of these worshipful responses occur in Christian churches today.

The praise, of course, was directed to the Lord, the great God for all that he had done and continues to do. In the New Testament, it is recorded that “Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth’” (Luke 10:21).

Let’s join Jesus as he leads us in the praise and the worshipping of God, our Father. 

Father, we join with Jesus though the Holy Spirit to praise you and to thank you for who you are and for all that you do for us. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson


About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Or email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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