Many people view worship in a very formal sense, as something that takes place at church on Sunday morning while singing. The Bible talks about worship as something that can be done all the time. Everything we do for God is an act of worship; our prayer, our giving, our singing, simple acts of kindness done throughout the day to honor Him, and our thankfulness for the things he has given us.
Colossians 4:2 talks about being thankful in prayer. “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
Psalm 147:7 talks about being thankful in song. “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving…”
Psalm 35:18 talks about being thankful in crowds. “I will give you thanks in the great congregation; I will praise you among a mighty throng.”
Psalm 97:12 talks about being thankful with gladness. “Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, and give thanks to his holy name.”
John 6:11 talks about being thankful before eating. “Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks…”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 talks about being thankful in everything. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks…”
Clearly, giving thanks and being thankful are things that are important for us to do. Ann Voskamp, the author of the popular book on thankfulness and gratitude, One Thousand Gifts, says “a life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” When we spend time thanking God for what he has done, we begin to act more on the love of God who gave us those things.
We praise things that we like, because we like them. If we like a band, we tell people about them. If we find a great book, we recommend it to people. If we happen upon an amazing restaurant, we want to go back and tell others they should try it.
Those are acts of praise based on the enjoyment that we experienced. By being thankful and praising all the little things that happen to us instead of simply overlooking them, we are telling God that we love the work he has done. We love the food he created, the moments he lets us experience, the beautiful things in the world.
Lectio Divina, Latin for Divine Reading, is a technique formalized in the 12th century that combines reading, prayer, and meditation into one simple process. All too often we separate these things; we read our bible some, then we pray some, but we don’t necessarily view them as a unified process. Lectio Divina is more about listening to the word of God rather than just reading it.