Expressions of Worship

During my message on Sunday I spewed out a lot of scriptures very quickly and didn't leave much time for jotting notes. So, as requested, here are my notes for each of the expressions of worship that we talked about and a few that we didn't have time to get to. Feel free to email me ( if you have any questions or comments! 


Lifting Hands
Nehemiah 8:6 - Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Psalm 63:4 - I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
1 Timothy 2:8 - Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
Psalm 28:2 - Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
·      Symbolic of where God dwells.
·      Symbolizes a desire for closeness with God.
·      Helps focus our attention on God.
·      A sign of surrender to the Lord.
·      Desire to receive from God.
·      Making an oath to God. Ezra 20:5 - ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God.”

Clapping Hands
Psalm 47:1 - Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 98:8 - Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.
·      Not based on keeping time! Though there is an element of togetherness when we do it congregationally.
·      Our best applause is reserved for the Lord.
·      A personal instrument to express joy.
·      There are times it turns from joy to aggression and militancy (Job, Ezekiel, Nahum)  - against the enemy, spiritual warfare

Playing Instruments
Psalm 150:3-5 - Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
1 Chronicles 15:16 - David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.
1 Samuel 16:23 - Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.

Nehemiah 9:5 - Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.
1 Chronicles 23:30 - They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening…
·      Shows respect.
·      Shows attention like a soldier on guard, ready to respond.
·      Waiting on the Lord (Isaiah 40) – being attentive and ready.

Kneeling/Bowing/Prostrate (Face Down)
Sometimes there is a presence of God that demands us to be low.
Psalm 95:6 - Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Revelation 4:9 -  Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever.
Revelation 1:17 - When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
·      Kneeling – picture of allegiance
·      Bowing – respecting an office
·      Prostrate – as low as possible, surrender, humility, “I don’t exist”
·      But we are never under God’s feet but part of His body – He doesn’t defeat us, He embraces us.

120 references in scripture.
Judges 5:3 – [Deborah] Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.
1 Chronicles 16:23 - Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.
Psalm 95:1 - Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Psalm 96:1 - Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Ephesians 5:18-20 - Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
·      We respond to music more than any other medium.

Psalm 66:1 – Shout with joy to God, all the earth.
Psalm 47:1 – Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 81:1 - Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Ezra 3:11 - With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.
·      Often used in spiritual warfare.
·      Jericho, Gideon – aggression, authority, defiance of an enemy.
·      Expression of joy, an explosion of emotion.
·      “Hallelujah” – describes a loud cry, shouting praise.

Psalm 30:11 - You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
Psalm 149:3 - Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.
Acts 3:8 - He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Exodus 15:20-21 -  Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing.
2 Samuel 6:14-16 - Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
·      The most extreme form of worship.
·      Physical expression of an inward celebration.
·      Other cultures have us beat in this aspect – we have lost the ability to express ourselves appropriately in this way.

Psalm 126:2 - Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.

Psalm 20:5 - May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
Exodus 17:15 - Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.
Song of Solomon 2:4 - Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.