As I often state, worship is a way of life. It is much deeper than the services we attend, the expressions that we use, and the traditions that we keep. We consider many acts to be worship, yet, without a genuine and pure heart, these are merely actions. Worship should always revolve around the love for God and love for others.
How do I worship without music? Worshiping without music can take many forms. It can be expressed in following the first and second commandments, dance, art, acts of service, generosity, fellowship, prayer, obedience, and the study of scripture. Worship without music is another way to express the contents of one’s heart. In order to worship, with or without music, the state of one’s motivation is crucial.
In this blog, I will be first expanding on how to worship without music. Then I will explain a few examples of what makes worship and what negates an act of worship. After that, I will list 10 practical expressions of worship that you can easily implement in your life.
How to Worship Without Music
Worshiping without music isn’t complex because worship is not within the action but within the heart and the motive behind it. Musical worship is a large aspect of worship, but it is only one of the many ways to express worship. There are various expressions of worship. Worship is deeper than the expression. Worship is the reason and leading factor of the expression.
It is the joy and leading of the heart and mind to offer to God something because of all that He has done for us. Even if the expression looks like worship, it may not be depending on the motivation behind it. Therefore, the best way to judge an act of worship it to look at the source of it, rather than the appearance of it.
You can worship without music in practically every area of your life. Later in this post I will give you some simple examples that you can try. But I encourage you to find some of your own expressions of worship. Colossians 3:23-24 urges, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
This scripture shows us that we can worship God in our daily lives. Since your daily life varies from that of other people, this is a personal matter between you and the Lord. Follow the explanation below when pondering how to worship. If you check your motives and heart, you can do essentially anything for the Lord as worship (as long as it does not contradict scripture or take scripture out of context).
Examples of What Makes Something Worship
In the table below, I will display how the motivation of worship may lead to the expression of worship. This is not an exhaustive list. You may be able to think of different motivations that lead to different expressions. For the sake of inspiration, I have listed a few.
|You have experienced the love of God in deeper ways and now know the meaning of patience, kindness, goodness, etc. |
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
|In your community and relationships, you serve and interact with people in patience and kindness. Instead of reacting, you pause and look for ways to glorify God in the situation.|
|The Lord has answered your prayers and you feel overjoyed and cannot contain your excitement.||Therefore, you dance before the Lord in celebration.|
|You recieve a new revelation of God’s character through scripture.||You lead a Bible study with your peers to encourage them with the goodness of God.|
|You want to love others as Jesus loves you.||You volunteer each Saturday at a local ministry.|
As you can see, motivation plays the biggest role in the process. Motivation comes before the actions. Luke 6:45 states, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Good acts do not make a man good. Rather, a good man does good acts.
Examples of What Negates an Act of Worship
I have also created a table with a contrasting view of what worship isn’t. You will notice that the expressions look similar, yet the motivations are much different. Subsequently, since the motivation is impure, the impact of the expression is negated. Too often we confuse the expression with worship. Remember, worship isn’t the expression. Worship is what leads us to the expression.
|You believe that God has given you a special revelatoin and that everyone else is ignorant because they don’t think like you. You believe God chose you because you’re the best.||You preach in front of many people and lead them. (Even if your idea is scripturally accurate, your motivation was not out of love for others or to give glory to God. You sought your own pride.|
|You have an amazing singing voice that everyone needs to hear. You sound better than the current worship leader so you join the team and hope to be the new leader.||You join and serve on the worship team at your local church.|
|You want people to know that you are involved in many ministries and all that you have done.||You make a campaign on social media to spread the good works you participate in. (If you were doing this to spread the gospel or encourage other believers to be active in their faith, then this would be a genuine act. However, it is for your own gain.)|
|Last Sunday you noticed that the person who prayed during church was met by many other people after church because they were encouraged by the prayer. You want to be the one to recieve the praise.||Therefore, you lead your church and peers in prayer.|
Many Christians can fool themselves and the world around them into believing they live a holy and righteous life. However, they cannot fool God, who searches the heart. God sees much deeper than man sees. Jesus speaks about actions done to be seen by the Lord, rather than men. In Matthew 6:5-7 gives an example of prayer.
It states, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Types of Worship Not Including Music
I have made a simple list of activities that can be wonderful expressions of worship. These can be used in daily life, as well as in time set apart for God. Remember, without a pure motivation of love in your heart, these are merely actions.
1 Corinthians takes a bold stance when it says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
1. Loving God (Heart, Soul, Mind, Strength)
When you choose to love God with your whole life, this is an ultimate act of worship. Giving God the best of your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and living to honor Him in all these areas is beautiful worship. This is the greatest commandment. If you are going to work on anything, I would recommend this aspect because all other levels are built upon this foundation.
2. Loving Others (As You Love Yourself)
The second commandment is loving others as you love yourself. When it comes to this expression of worship, think to yourself, “How would I want another person to respond to me in this situation?” Then, do that exact same thing for someone else.
For example, if you were struggling in a new work environment, you may desire someone in the office to extend friendship to you. Additionally, you may want to help to understand the culture and expectations of the office. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
If you enjoy dance, be creative in how you express your praise, joy, love, and celebration of the Lord. Keep it tasteful and honoring to God. You can even worship God by loving others and teaching them how to dance. Or, you could upon a new ministry that uses dance as a means to reach the community.
Art can be a beautiful expression of scripture, prayer, and what the Lord has spoken to you. You can paint or draw whatever you believe the Lord is leading you to, on behalf of yourself or another person. Gifting art is also honoring to God because it is showing love to His people.
The Bible commands us to pray without ceasing. It also tells us that God is most glorified when we ask of Him and He responds by answering those prayers. Pray to God to learn deeper truths about Him. This will lead you in loving Him better with both your mind and soul. Dedication to prayer also builds your strength because it is a spiritual discipline.
Prayer for other people while you are with them and when you are not. Focus your life around prayer. Pray out loud and silently. Set specific time apart to pray and have a personal conversation with the Lord throughout each day.
6. Acts of Service
Acts of service is a way to love God and others. Your service can worship God because it can be spreading His Kingdom, values, and love. You can serve and love the Lord with your time and effort. Additionally, acts of service can be done for people, which is obeying the second commandment. Jesus Himself stated that whoever wants to be great must become the servant of all.
7. Reading Scripture
The reading of scripture grows our knowledge of God, which grows our awe of God. Studying scripture is loving and worshiping God with our minds. The study of scripture also shows us the heart of God and how He desires His people to live. We can grow holistically in worship by reading scripture because we will be able to form our life around what God is for. Additionally, we can purge our lives of what God despises.
Simple obedience is a critical way of worship. Various times in scripture, The Lord expresses His grief over people who worship Him with their lips but not their lives. God wants a life that is dedicated to Him alone. We show God we love Him by obeying His commandments. Jesus states in John 14:5, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
In James 1:27, true religion is expressed by the following statement.”Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” God values when His people care for one another, especially the distressed. We can worship God by being generous with our time, resources, energy, and finances. Whenever we love others with our generosity, we are loving the Lord.
Often, God commands His people to gather together. The Lord values unity. He also made it very clear from the beginning that, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). The gathering of believers worships and glorifies the Lord because the Body of Christ is expressed within many people.
People were not created to be individualistic or alone. God intended that they would love and share life together. Therefore, when the Body of Christ gathers for fellowship, which can include encouragement, helping one another, praying, reading scripture, and interacting in a sermon, God is worshiped.
When implementing worship into your life, remember that your heart is the most important part. There are various expressions of worship. Yet, the motivation behind the expressions is what makes something worship. You can find various ways to express a grateful, and reverent heart of worship.
The Bible gives many examples, but more simply, it teaches us to worship in Spirit and in truth. It is not so much in the location or the act of worship, rather it is in the truthfulness of the heart that is lead by the Spirit and seeking to honor the Spirit of God. You can use the types of worship listed above, and you can also be creative in your own expressions. When choosing a new expression of worship, always check it with scripture first. If it contradicts scripture or a value from scripture, rethink the expression.