The Discipline of Worship
Of all the disciplines in Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, I feel that Worship is the one that I have the most experience with and knowledge of over the course of my lifetime. I have spent much time in this chapter before, and have sought out teaching from many other wise and knowledgeable men who have helped form and shape my understanding of worship, from Brother Lawrence through Louie Giglio and Matt Redman and beyond.
Ultimately, Foster lays out that worship is all about our response to God, for who He is and what He has done in our lives. Foster walks through the fact that though the modes we use lead us into worship (singing, praying, etc), worship is so much more than just those practices. Worship is all about placing God first and foremost and giving our entire being over to Him, emotions and all. Foster considers worship “our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father.”
What strikes me as the most helpful in this chapter is when Foster dives into some suggestions on how to truly worship. He reminds us that we are not just to run into a Sunday morning gathering (for example) unprepared for the Spirit to move, but that we should prepare for the Spirit to move. We should spend time lifting others in the room up when we notice they are struggling to enter into true worship on their own. We should expect miracles to be the norm and not the exception in our corporate gatherings. When preaching we should ask the Spirit to move through us and not attempt to run with our own plans. And we need to learn to practice the Presence of God daily, as well as develop a holy dependency upon Him for everything. These are enormous tasks, and we should not attempt to simply provide lip-service if we are going to undertake them. But if we do take this guidance to heart, our worship will be genuine and could very well be the spark of revival that so many of our churches need today.