Propriety in Worship: How Do We Appear in God’s House for Worship?

Propriety in Worship: How Do We Appear in God’s House for Worship?

We have been discussing and meditating the importance of worshiping the Lord in the beauty of holiness as the psalmist calls, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalms 29:2). This is applicable particularly on the Lord’s Days when we come to the Lord’s house to worship Him. How do we worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness? First and foremost, we must worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. This means, our worship service should be Spirit-filled and in accordance with the truth of God, i.e., God’s Word. This means, our worship service should be sanctified by the Spirit and orderly. This is the reason we have a proper order of service in the worship service.

Secondly, our worship service should follow a proper decorum. This means we should not approach the worship service in a casual manner, but in a very dignified manner. This should reflect in every area of the worship service. Following are few areas where we need to be particularly careful for a dignified worship service:

Mannerism in Worship
From the time we enter into the sanctuary of God and until we leave the sanctuary, we should be aware that we are in the holy presence of God. This means we should be in a Spirit-filled manner. We should not use the time for gossip, laugh uncontrollably, murmur or any unworthy thing. We should be in the spirit of thanksgiving to God. The psalmist says in Psalms 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Again, the psalmist says in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Our Dressing in Worship
How do we dress up when we come to the worship service? Our dressing must be in most modest, appropriate, and honorable manner. Ladies are highly encouraged to cover their body as much as possible. They should not wear tight clothing. Do not wear excessive lipstick, high heeled shoes, etc. Please note that worship service is not a fashion parade, but a time of reverential worship, serving the most holy God. Gents are encouraged to avoid casual dressing—wear proper shirts and pants or most appropriate dressing suited for an honorable occasion. You are presenting yourselves before the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Creator of heaven and earth.

Use of Gadgets in Worship
Please do not use your mobile phone for browsing the internet during the worship service. Your phone should be in the silent mode until the service is over.

Using the Bible
We highly encourage all worshiper to bring your own personal Bible when you come to the worship service. You should turn to the Bible when the responsive reading or Scripture reading takes place. You should participate in reading God’s Word. When the sermon is being preached, we should engage with our Bible, taking notes and marking the appropriate portions in the Bible. In other words, we should be active and participatory in worship, especially in using the Word of God.

Handling Children in Worship
Children are the Lord’s heritage and we should never discourage children in attending the worship service. At the same time, parents take responsibility to make sure that they are not a nuisance during the worship service. As much as possible, parents are requested to sit with your children and have a watch on them that they are attentive in the worship service. The little ones should be occupied with some coloring sheets or some soundless toys so that they would be busy with their own things.

In John 4:23-24, Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman and tells us some important things about worship in His discourse with her. Jesus told her, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God is seeking worshipers who will worship him truly from their hearts. E. J. Young points out in his commentary on Isaiah that “….the people ‘worshiped’ God in the way that pleased them, but not in the way that was prescribed. This they did in that they regarded the outward form of worship as sufficient, irrespective of the attitude of the heart. The priests evidently encouraged this, exhibiting a concern only that the worshipper bring the requisite sacrifices, but not that he come to the Lord in humble and true devotion.”

Isaiah 29:13 says, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.” God wants our hearts. This is something we need to come to grips with in our churches. It would be better if we get rid of our great sound and projection systems, do away with our worship teams and worship bands if we could just have simple worship services where people come with humble and devoted hearts. Our greatest need is to have people who come to worship with their hearts turned toward God and who come to worship in spirit and truth. May the Lord help us!

Ps. George Skariah

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