At Tabernacle of the Congregation, our worship services are designed to give glory and praise to God as well as augment the participation and understanding of our style and culture of worship. There are many actions involved in the worship and praise of God; this is inclusive of verbal expressions of adoration and thanksgiving, singing, playing instruments, shouting joyfully, dancing, and clapping our hands. We believe that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3), and when we participate in praise and worship we are extending an invitation for God to dwell in our midst. Thus, we are not limited by formality, patterns, or time, but we remain as yielded vessels in our worship experience. Here are some scriptural answers for some of the most frequently asked questions.
Why do we lift our hands?
- Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord. (Psalms 134:2)
- I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up Holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (I Timothy 2:8)
- Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. (Psalms 63:4)
Why does the whole church pray at once for specific needs?
- When we pray together we unify ourselves in mind and spirit to accomplish a designated purpose in making a specific request to God.
- Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalms 133:1)
Why do we bow down and kneel?
- We bow and kneel to show reverence, honor, and respect for God.
- O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our maker. (Psalm 95:6)
- For it is written, as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11)
Why do we stand when we sing?
- And the Levites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high. (II Chronicles 20:19)
- Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever; and blessed be Thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. (Nehemiah 9:5)
- Ye that stands in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God, Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto His name; for it is pleasant. (Psalms 135:2-3)
Why do we clap our hands?
- O clap your hands all ye people, shout unto God with a voice of triumph. (Psalms 47:1)
Why are there musical instruments played in the worship service?
- Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the psaltery and harp. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance. Praise Him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise Him upon loud cymbals; praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals. (Psalms 150:3-5)
Why do we give audible praise unto God?
- I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1)
- Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless His holy name. (Psalms 103:1)
- Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. (Psalms 100:1)
- And when they heard that, they lifted up their voices to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou are God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is. (Acts 4:24)
Why do we have praise leaders who sing songs in front of us?
- Music has always played an important role in the praise and worship of God. In the Old Testament musicians and musical leaders were appointed to direct and guide the people in worship to encourage the unity of the uplifted voices.
- For in the days of David and Asaph of old there was chief of the singers and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. (Nehemiah 12:46)
- Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:6)
Why are some people dancing in the church?
- Dance is one of the many expressions of praise. Moses’ sister, Miriam, led the women of Israel in a triumphant dance of praise to God after they crossed the river Jordan and were delivered from the Egyptians. (Exodus 15:20)
- In II Samuel 6:14, we are told that David danced before the Lord with all his might. Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us that ‘there is a time to dance’ and Psalms 149:1-5 and Psalms 150:4 encourages us to ‘praise God with the timbrel and dance in the congregation of saints.
What is a ‘prayer language’ or ‘speaking in tongues’?
- Sometimes there is a need to pray but we may not know specifically what needs to be prayed or how we should pray. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the ability to speak in a special language typically reserved for times of prayer and special communion with the Holy Spirit. One’s prayer language is unique and usually unintelligible to others. (Romans 8:26-27, I Corinthians 14:14-15)
Why do we receive tithes and offerings?
- This is the method through which God’s Kingdom here on earth is financed. Giving to the work of God produces rewards both in this life and in heaven. (Exodus 25:1-2, Leviticus 27:30-32, Malachi 3:10, II Corinthians 9:6-15)