Quotes on Worship

A.W. Tozer

“If you’re not worshiping God on Monday the way you did the day before, perhaps you’re not worshiping him at all.”

“Worship is no longer worship when it reflects the culture around us more than the Christ within us.”

“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.”

“I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.”

“I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the church, the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the “program.” This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the public service which now passes for worship among us.”

“Christians don’t tell lies they just go to church and sing them.”

“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment.”

“We must never rest until everything inside us worships God.”

“We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think that we are worshiping God.”

“A lot of hymns writers who should have been cutting the grass at the time have written songs instead.”

Charles Spurgeon

“The song of our solitude should be full of living joy, And yet, I am afraid there is very little private singing nowadays. We often hear talk concerning private prayer, but very seldom of private praise — and yet ought there not to be as much private praise as private prayer? I take it, from how seldom we talk about it, private thanksgiving has grown to be a sleepy affair.”

“God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation.”

“I believe that in public worship we should do well to be bound by no human rules, and constrained by no stereotyped order.”

“Depend on it, my hearer, you never will go to heaven unless you are prepared to worship Jesus Christ as God.”

“Do not flatter yourselves: if you go to places of worship merely to look about you or to hear music, you are not worshipping God.”

“I can admire the solemn and stately language of worship that recognizes the greatness of God, but it will not warm my heart or express my soul until it has also blended therewith the joyful nearness of that perfect love that casts out fear and ventures to speak with our Father in heaven as a child speaks with its father on earth. My brother, no veil remains.”

“All places are places of worship to a Christian. Wherever he is, he ought to be in a worshiping frame of mind.”

“Do you not want to give honor to God? Would you not lay down your life so that the whole earth might be filled with His Glory? Well, if you cannot cover the earth with His praise as the waters cover the sea, you can at least contribute your portion to the flood.”

“I would not speak falsely even for God, but I can testify that the happiest moments I have ever spent have been occupied with the worship of God.”

“We learn very little in Christ’s school if the practical result of it all does not make us cry, ‘I . . . will yet praise thee more and more.'”

“All places are holy to holy people, and all activities holy to holy men, if they do them with holy motives, lifting up their hearts to God. Whether a man works in a shop or plants seeds on his farm, that which is done as unto the Lord and not unto men is true worship.”

“You must either praise God or be miserable. You do have a choice: you must either worship the God who made you, or else you must be wretched. . . . but your wretchedness begins within yourself, for to be unable to praise is to be full of hell.”

“You may make floods of music with your organs if you like, or may make equally good music–and some of us think even better–with human voices, but it is not music to God, either of instrument or voice, unless the heart is there.”

“The tendency among us has been to undervalue praise as a part of public worship, whereas it should be second to nothing.”

“Unto God, and God alone, the praise of His true church must ascend. . . . in our worship we too often minister to ourselves. We do so when we make the tune and manner of the song more important than the substance of it.”

“How can we offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually if we perpetually rail at His providence. . . . Let us praise Him by being perfectly satisfied with anything and everything that He does or appoints.”

“Hear how the ungodly world pours out its mirth. Oftentimes their song is so silly it is utterly devoid of meaning. Are they not ashamed? Then let us not be ashamed. Children of God, sing . . . and let your hearts be joyful before your King.”

“We would do well if we added to our godly service more singing. The world sings. The millions have their songs. I must say the taste of the populace is very remarkable just now as to its favorite songs. Many of them are so absurd and meaningless that they are unworthy of an idiot. Yet these things will be heard from men, and places will be thronged to listen to the stuff. Now, why should we––with the grand psalms we have of David, with the noble hymns of Cowper, Milton and Watts––why should we not sing as well as they.” Let us sing the songs of Zion. They are as cheerful as Sodom’s songs. Let us drown out the howling nonsense of Gomorrha with the melodies of the New Jerusalem.”

“It would be well, perhaps, in our public services, if we had more often the sweet relief of silence. . . . To make silence a habitual part of worship might be pretentious and formal, but to include in occasionally, even frequently, in the service would be advantageous and profitable. . . . let us always confess that our praise, compared to God’s deserving, is but silence.”

“Praise is called a sacrifice because it is a very sacred and solemn thing. We cannot praise God with levity. He is in heaven, and we are on the earth. He is thrice holy and we are sinful. We must take off our shoes in lowly reverence and worship with intense adoration, or else He cannot be pleased with our sacrifices.”

C.S. Lewis

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”

“It’s not out of a compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are. The delight is incomplete until it is expressed. In the same way, we delight to praise God because our praise of him not merely expresses, but it completes our enjoyment.”

Graham Kendrick

“Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which “comes upon you,” but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will, to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Worship in truth is worship that arises out of an actual encounter with God, a response to the experience of knowing God’s real presence and activity in our daily lives. This has nothing to do with sentiment, thinking religious thoughts or having aesthetic experiences in church buildings; any religion can give you that sort of thing.”

“Worship is at heart a person offered to God, claiming no rights, making no more selfish demands than a dead man does, but living fully, richly and wholly to God and by His power.”

Jeremiah Burroughs

“You worship God . . . when you come to hear a sermon, or spend a half an hour or hour in prayer, or come to receive a sacrament. These are the acts of God’s worship, but they are only external acts of worship, to hear and pray and receive sacraments. But this is the soul’s worship, to subject itself thus to God. You who often will worship God by hearing, praying and receiving sacraments, and yet afterwards will be froward or discontented, know that God does not regard such worship, he will have the soul’s worship, in this the subjecting of the soul unto God. Note this, I beseech you: in active obedience we worship God by doing what pleases God, but by passive obedience we do as well worship God by being pleased with what God does. Now when I perform a duty, I worship God, I do what pleases God; why should I not as well worship God when I am pleased with what God does?”

John Owen

“The foundation of true holiness and true Christian worship is the doctrine of the gospel, what we are to believe. So when Christian doctrine is neglected, forsaken, or corrupted, true holiness and worship will also be neglected, forsaken, and corrupted.”

“Believers will receive nothing, practice nothing, recognize nothing, in the worship of Christ but only that which he has appointed. God never allowed the will of the creature to decide how best to worship God.”

“Unless men see a beauty and delight in the worship of God, they will not do it willingly.”

John Piper

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions because God is ultimate not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship, therefore, is the fuel and goal of missions. It’s the goal of missions because in missions we simply aim to bring the nations into the white-hot enjoyment of God’s glory.”

“The climax of God’s happiness is the delight He takes in the echoes of His excellence in the praises of His people.”

“Worship is when the mind apprehends great truth about God, and the heart kicks in with deep feelings of brokenness or wonder and gladness and admiration and gratitude, and the mouth says something like, ‘Blessed be God! O blessed and praised and honored and glorified be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’”

“So you can see what is happening in the New Testament. Worship is being significantly deinstitutionalized, delocalized, de-externalized. The whole thrust is being taken off of ceremony and seasons and places and forms and is being shifted to what is happening in the heart – not just on Sunday but every day and all the time in all of life.”

“We belittle God when we go through the outward motions of worship and take no pleasure in His person.”

“If the Christian life has become the path of ease in the modern west, then corporate worship is the place of increasing entertainment. The problem is not a battle between contemporary worship music and hymns; the problem is that there aren’t enough martyrs during the week. If no soldiers are perishing, what you want on Sunday is Bob Hope and some pretty girls, not the army chaplain and a surgeon.”

“…faith-filled suffering is essential in this world for the most intense, authentic worship. When we are most satisfied with God in suffering, he will be most glorified in us in worship. Our problem is not styles of music. Our problem is styles of life. When we embrace more afflictions for the worth of Christ, there will be more fruit in the worship of Christ.”

“Strong affections for God, rooted in and shaped by the truth of Scripture – this is the bone and marrow of biblical worship.”

“Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of his worth. This cannot be done by mere acts of duty. It can be done only when spontaneous affections arise in the heart.”

John Wimber

“Show me where you spend your time, money and energy and I’ll tell you what you worship.”

“Our heart’s desire should be to worship God; we have been designed by God for this purpose. If we don’t worship God, we’ll worship something or someone else.”

“We learned that what happens when we are alone with the Lord determines how intimate and deep the worship will be when we come together.”

“If we serve Jesus then every act and thought has meaning. Acts of kindness aren’t just niceties, they become acts of worship.”

Jonathan Edwards

“And the duty of singing praises to God seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned why we should express ourselves to God in verse rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only that such is our nature and frame that these things have a tendency to move our affections.”

“The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted.”

 Judson Cornwall

“Every expression of petition, praise and worship that David released to God, he communicated to a holy God whose dwelling place was holy by virtue of the divine Presence. Still, David had to admit “O God, You are more awesome than your holy places.” (Psalm 68:35) It is the character of God that makes the habitation of God sacred.”

“. . . all of creation places Jesus and Almighty God on an equal level in the matter of worship . . . In heaven the living creatures worship Jesus, the twenty-four elders worship Jesus, the angels worship Jesus, and all creation gives worship to him. He is indeed, worthy to be worshipped.”

“The Incarnation produced far more than redemption from sin–it restored our relationship with God, thereby making worship possible.”

R.C. Sproul

“The worship to which we are called in our renewed state is far too important to be left to personal preferences, to whims, or to marketing strategies. It is the pleasing of God that is at the heart of worship. Therefore, our worship must be informed at every point by the Word of God as we seek God’s own instructions for worship that is pleasing to Him.”

“The real crisis of worship today is not that the preaching is paltry or that it’s too drafty in church. It is that people have no sense of the presence of God, and if they have no sense of His presence, how can they be moved to express the deepest feelings of their souls to honor, revere, worship, and glorify God?”

“God is never pleased with ignorant worship, with worship that is not grounded in the knowledge of God.”

“God is serious about how we worship Him, and we must be serious about it, too.”

Sam Storms

“Worship is not only the expression of joy, it is the soul in which additional and even greater joy is seeded. As we celebrate God in word and praise, the Spirit works within to cultivate still deeper delight in God that cries out to be vented in exuberant exultation. Enjoyment issues in worship. Worship incites knowledge. Knowledge awakens joy. This joy issues in worship . . . and so it goes, to the gladness or our hearts and the glory of God!”

“Worship is not like blowing up a ballon. God is not honored by human inflation, as if the breath of our praise enhances and expands his visibility and worth. To think that apart from our praise God remains shrunken and shriveled is to dishonor him who ‘gives to all mankind life and breath and everything'” (Acts 17:25).

“Worship without wonder is lifeless and boring.”

“Worship energizes the heart to seek satisfaction in Jesus alone.”

“Worship is a joyful rebuke of the world. When our hearts are riveted on Jesus everything else in life becomes so utterly unnecessary and we become far less demanding.”

“The ultimate goal of theology isn’t knowledge, but worship. If our learning and knowledge of God do not lead to the joyful praise of God, we have failed. We learn only that we might laud, which is to say that theology without doxology is idolatry. The only theology worth studying is a theology that can be sung.”

Sinclair Ferguson

“The foundation of worship in the heart . . . is not emotional (‘I feel full of worship’ or ‘The atmosphere is so worshipful’). Actually it is theological. Worship is not something we ‘work up’ , it is something that ‘comes down’ to us, from the character of God.”

“True worship puts character into our lives, humility into our bearing, strength and confidence into our witnessing.”

Stephen Charnock

“Without the heart it’s not worship, it’s a stage play.”

“We may be truly said to worship God, though we lack perfection; but we cannot be said to worship Him if we lack sincerity.”

“To pretend to homage to God, and intend only the advantage of self, is rather to mock him than worship him.”

Thomas Watson

“A good Christian is not a grave to bury God’s mercies, but a temple to sing his praises.”

“Those who are patterns of mercy should be trumpets of praise.”

“The motion of our praise must be like the motion of our pulse, which beats as long as life lasts.”

“Though God will have the service of our bodies, our eyes and hands lifted up, to testify to others that reverence we have of his glory and majesty, yet he will have the worship of the soul chiefly.”

“Spirit-worship God prizes, because it comes near to his own nature, which is a Spirit.”

“God is a Spirit and will be worshipped in spirit; it is not pomp of worship, but purity, which God accepts.”

“To give God oral praise and dishonour him in our lives is to commit a barbarism in religion, and is to be like those . . . who bowed the knee to Christ and then spat on him.”

“When God has a rod in his hand, a godly man will have a psalm in his mouth. The devil’s smiting of Job was like striking a musical instrument; he sounded forth praise. . . . When God’s spiritual plants are cut and bleed, they drop thankfulness; the saints’ tears cannot drown their praises.”


“We are cold when it comes to rejoicing in God! Hence, we need to exercise ourselves in it and employ all our senses in it – our feet, our hands, our arms and all the rest – that they all might serve in the worship of God and so magnify Him.” John Calvin

“Worship is the spontaneous, irrepressible cry of the heart when the glory of the Creator breaks in upon it.” Richard Exley

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose and all this gathered up in adoration the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and source of all actual sin.” William Temple

“If the corporate worship in the church leaves people unchanged, the church is not really worshipping.” John MacArthur

“When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.” Lamar Boschman

“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through Music.” Martin Luther