I believe most Christians would affirm that worship should be God centred but in practice we often evaluate our worship time by how much we enjoyed it. subtly self creeps to the centre. We know that this is not how it should be but somehow we find ourselves asking the question “was the worship time a blessing to me?”. The central question in our worship time should be “do I honour and glorify God?” It is interesting how this can affect our worship, many years ago I was at a conference designed to bring evangelicals from different backgrounds together, when the worship started it was obvious that we were divided. The Chairman of the conference had the wisdom to stop the worship and remind us that we were worshipping the Lord and he asked us to allow one another to worship our God in the style that we felt comfortable with. When the worship leader resumed leading it was as if a burden had been lifted from our shoulders, as we concentrated on the Lord we were able to allow others the freedom to express their worship in different manners. all the time we were concentrating on ourselves we were divided. When we all concentrated on the Lord we had a great freedom in worship which established a spirit of unity.
It is strange how we allow ourselves to be moved from honouring God to wanting something for ourselves. Now I don’t want to appear to be saying that we will never receive anything but rather that our concentration should be on honouring our God. Indeed I believe that we will find that as we worship God giving him the glory and honour due his holy name we will taste real joy and know great blessing. Indeed if we were to follow thje pattern of the Lord’s prayer we will be putting God first and this will naturally lead us to ask him for things that are in accordance with his will. The Lord’s prayer honours God in every clause and gives us a model as to how we can honour God, this prayer gives us an example of how to pray and God is honoured explicitly at the beginning, but he is also honoured when we confess our dependence upon for our daily needs.
When we realise the greatness of our God, we will have great joy as we worship him, our Puritan forefathers got it right when they said “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever”, when we glorify God and see the wonder of who he is, we will enjoy his presence.
Worship is also to recognise the glory of the Triune God, We come to the Father through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must come to worship knowing that we can only worship the Father as we realise his grace to us in Christ Jesus and to be able to do that we need the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
At the heart of worship is our God, it is not about styles of worship as such but rather honouring our great and glorious God with our whole being.