There’s nothing like the glory of an intimate and intense worship session. There’s nothing like praising God and feeling the fireworks and magic of His Spirit flowing through your veins. There’s nothing like sensing the thick presence in the room. That being said, do we put too much of an emphasis on how we feel and on the pursuit of these praise sessions, or do we live lives of praise all day long?
I know that I’ve had my moments of pursuing worship and prayer through the lens of my feelings. When there is nothing like feeling God close to you, it’s hard not to base it on feelings. Those nights when you’re praying and it feels like He is sitting right in front of you. Or those sessions where you’re worshiping and you can feel the tingly feelings through every limb. It’s a glorious thing to chase and the Lord delights in His people delighting in Him! That being said, I think it’s important to remember the feelingless, and perhaps more mundane, moments of prayer and worship.
One of my favourite verses over the last few years touches on this topic. It always serves to be a clear and simple reminder of how easy praise is. When Jesus is on the cross and breathes His last, a centurion who was on guard over Jesus finally had it dawn on him. It was in reading this that I realized that praising God can be so subtle that it’s missed.
“Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was innocent!’” (Luke 23:47)
Isn’t that amazing? All it took for God to be praised was a simple sentence saying that Jesus was truly innocent. What makes that praise? The centurion spoke truth. God’s truth is music to His ears and sweetness to His soul. There weren’t any fireworks and it wasn’t during an organized event, but that centurion praised the Lord like crazy by speaking truth.
As I said, I’ve loved this verse for a couple years now because it reminds me that every time I speak words of God’s truth and every time I trust in His truth within my heart, I am praising Him. He loves to be praised and He is worthy of it all. I love big worship events and Spirit-loaded prayer as much as the next Jesus lover, but I feel it in my soul to remind myself that it’s by faith, not by sight — or feelings!