Did you know that there are several different words in Hebrew and Greek that are simply translated “worship” in our English bibles? In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word shachah means to bow down, tehillah means to praise or sing, yadah means to extend or raise your hand. The Greek word, proskuneo (did you know this is where our ministry’s name came from?) literally means to kiss towards something/someone. All of these words are action words. And, they are all translated as simply “worship” in English. So, when we sing “here I am to worship…” it means “here I am to bow down, lift my hands, sing praise, kiss towards…”
Spiritual worship doesn’t only happen internally. Spiritual worship involves our whole person, including our mind, heart, soul, and body. Jesus Himself was human as we are, with a mind, heart, soul, and body. Jesus walked, ate, cried, and slept. When we worship as the body of Christ, we worship with our bodies. We stand, we read, we cry, we kneel, we prostrate ourselves. When we worship, hopefully, our entire being is fully engaged.
But, we are in a unique season right now as the church because we can’t gather together physically. We can not be physically present to one another. Instead, we are gathering on Zoom, YouTube, Facebook Live and other digital platforms. When we worship online, it is easy to feel disconnected from our bodies. We may have to be more intentional to engage our bodies when we are gathering together virtually for worship. In our Proskuneo worshiping community, we have been paying more attention to this lately.
Here are some ideas (both for leaders and participants)!
- Engage different postures. Stand. Kneel. Lift your hands. Bow down. Lay prostrate on the floor. Pay attention to what your soul might want to say to God in those postures. (You might feel more freedom to do this in the comfort of your own home when no one is watching.)
- Stand and sing even when you don’t have to.
- Draw. (It could be something related to what you are hearing or even abstract shapes!)
- Sing a song in American Sign Language (here’s an easy one to get you started).
- Walk around the house while praying.
- Hold hands with people in your household when you pray.
- Take deep breaths or even pray a breath prayer.
“And now, may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – I Thessalonians 5:23
[written by Josh Davis and Jaewoo Kim]