Why is praise so important? Why is it a consistent feature of almost every prayer? Does God need it? No. God’s ego is not so fragile that God needs our constant praise and support. But God knows we need to praise God in order to keep our focus centered on God. We need to remember who God is and how God acts prior to our asking God for anything.
In the presence of truth, goodness, and beauty, we find ourselves inexplicably driven to voice our approval and bear witness of this approval to others. Why? Because we are homo religiosus – worshipping beings. Our positive affirmations of truth, goodness, and beauty should lead us to their true source and goal – God.
What are the current weaknesses in contemporary worship music? The absence of Trinitarian language and recounting God’s story, a low regard for the church, an over-reliance on romantic ideals, the lack of a social justice vision and expressions of human pain and suffering – these are all problematic in the large scope of Christian faith and practice.
We cling to a vision of ourselves at the center of the universe and God at the periphery. Corporate worship shatters this illusion, and in the process, spiritually transforms us. Worship invites us to give God the highest place in our hearts – the first place – so everything else can be put in its proper place, in relation to God.