S: Psalm 47:1-2, 5-7 Come, everyone! Clap your hands!
Shout to God with joyful praise! For the LORD Most High is awesome.
He is the great King of all the earth.
God has ascended with a mighty shout.
The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring. Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King over all the earth.
Praise him with a psalm.
O: The people of God spend a lot of time "standing around praising God." Several non-Christians have mentioned this to me as an argument against Christianity.
One friend says that in his religion, in heaven, they get to eat as much as they want, sleep with as many virgins as they want, indulge in pleasure as much as they want, all without the negative consequences these excesses would have on earth, while in our Christian heaven, we just stand around praising God.
An Atheist friend says that Christianity's God is so insecure and egotistical since He wants people to praise Him all the time.
However, I personally can testify that some of my most wonderful experiences in life thus far have been times when I was immersed in the presence of God in worship, standing around praising God, clapping, shouting, singing, dancing before Him, worshipping God in a most intimate way, paradoxically in the midsts of a crowd of other people worshipping Him. (I say "paradoxically" because it is perhaps paradoxical how intimate a connection I have felt with God while in a crowd of other people having a similar intimate connection with Him!)
My early Christian experience was in a more traditional style of church, where there was good Biblical teaching, but people did not worship "in the Spirit." When I first heard "praise and worship" music, it was on tape (remember those things? ^‿^) and the music did not appeal to me.
However, the first time I entered a Charismatic church, I felt something. I didn't know what it was, and I felt it again the next few times I went. I think now that it was because I had already been filled with the Holy Spirit even before I first stepped into a Charismatic church, and so my spirit resonated with God's presence in that house of worship, and that was what I was feeling -- the manifest presence of God.
Now, I would be the first to admit that there are many excesses of the Charismatic movement and we do need solid Biblical grounding in addition to the experiential aspect of the Holy Spirit. It's both-and, not either-or. We need true experience with the manifest presence of God through the Holy Spirit, and also solid Bible study and meditation on the Word of God.
So, when you see time and time again the saints write in the Bible things like "praise the LORD!" it is an expression of this exuberant intimacy, this call to worship that is part of this very personal love relationship between the believer and God. It's not that God is so insecure that He needs to be buttered up. It's like when you're in love, you express your love spontaneously as part of the intimacy and relationship. I'm in love with God, and so I praise Him!
A: So, come, everyone! Clap your hands!
Shout to God with joyful praise!
P: I worship You, Almighty God! There is none like You! I worship You, O Prince of Peace! That is what I want to do! I give You praise for you are my righteousness. I worship You, Almighty God! There is none like You!
Note: "Hallelujah" means "Praise the the LORD".
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)