A praise and worship workshop conducted by Emi, Audrey and David.
What is Praise and Worship?
Everybody does praise and worship differently. It could be a form of expression or a way of communication with God. It could be accompanied with music instruments or merely words.
Looking into the Bible
The best example of praise and worship is found in the heart of the Bible – Psalm. Psalm is found at the center of the Bible. It expresses the believer’s deepest feelings and loftiest thoughts about God and life. It comprises of seven types of expressions, namely:
♦ Hymns are full of praise for God – His nature, His character and His works. They are without particular reference to past miseries or to recent joyful accomplishments.
Mood: Joyous! Exuberant! Awed! Eg.:Ps 8, 19, 103.
♦ Laments (community & Individual) complain about troubles, but usually end in praise! Express difficult times & experiences that the people went through.
Mood: Stressful, Anxious and sometimes Vindictive. Eg.:Ps 3, 43, 69, 137.
♦ Thanksgiving Psalms express gratitude for God’s faithfulness, protection and deliverance from a disaster.
Mood: Thoughtful, Humble, Grateful. Eg.:Ps 32, 124.
♦ Confidence Psalms come out of deep experiences of learning to trust God in all circumstances, including times of despair.
Mood: Calm, Peaceful, Quietly joyful. Eg.:Ps 23, 27, 91.
♦ Remembrance Psalms remind the nation how good and faithful God has been to them. A reflection upon God’s saving works in the history of the Israelites.
Mood: Sobering, Awesome, Expansive, Faith-conforming. Eg.: Ps 78, 105, 106.
♦ Wisdom Psalms flow from practiced observations of human nature and God’s ways.
Mood: Reflective, Practical. Eg.: Ps 1, 37, 73.
♦ Kingship/Messianic Psalms are primarily celebration songs of a royal event but also point to the True King who is coming.
Mood: Joyous festive, “Patriotic”. Eg.: Ps 45, 110.
Do you know what are the Characteristics of Hebrew Poetry?
♥ They are Personal in nature. The poetry arose out of a believer’s deep experience and deep reflection. Even when he refers to history of the monarchy, it is an intimate experience.
♥ They use Picture language. The psalmist uses concrete realities familiar to his readers to illustrate his ideas. These may be physical objects and activities, historical items or personal experiences.
♥ Their theme Progresses by stanzas to a climax. Each paragraph focuses on a particular main thought. Together, they build up the THEME which is usually stated in the first or second line of the Psalm.
♥ They use Parallelism in thought. This is the most unique aspect of Hebrew literature. It has rhythm in thought rather than in meter (as in western poetry). Two or three lines will relate to each other rather than having the same sound at the end of the line. Examples are:
♠ Synonymous (=): Line A expresses a thought. Line B gives the same thought in a different way.
A O Lord, how many are my foes!
B How many rise up against me!
♠ Antithetic (≠): Line A expresses a thought. Line B gives the opposite idea.
A For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous
B but the way of the wicked will perish
♠ Symbolic (*): Either line gives the thought. The other line illustrates that thought.
A As the deer pants for the streams of water
B so my soul pants for you, O God.
♠ Synthetic (+): Line A expresses a thought. Line B (and Line C) adds to that thought.
A You prepare a table before me
B in the presence of my enemies
♠ Climatic (!): Line A expresses a thought. Line B/C brings it to a climax.
A Surely goodness and love will follow me
B all the days of my life.
A And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Here’s a general structure for Psalm:
♣ Introduction: THEME of the Psalm (first one or two verses)
♣ BODY of Psalm
♣ CONCLUSION (last one or two verses)
∴ All in all, Psalms are vital parts of God’s big story of redemption of our humanity.
A mini tryout on Psalm 32 can be done and you may explore your own way of expressing worship to the Lord.
P.s. This was our first night BE held in campus ever since we moved out to LWC. Praise the Lord for the venue!
Psalm 32: Rejoice in God’s Gracious Forgiveness! 在神的饶恕恩典里喜乐!
Amitie CG Ushering!
By Audrey Ng