Topic for this week: Praise & Worship

Theme for the month of November: Thanksgiving

The Carmichael SDA Church is providing spiritual growth resources for individuals, couples, families, and small groups as an extension during this pandemic for a church that is scattered like salt and to indeed be salty; to be light and receive another infusion of power. Pick and choose from these resources for your spiritual growth, whether it’s during your time of personal devotions or family worship or small group gathering. The 10 options include:


Bible Dialogue

We often use the terms “Praise” and “Worship” interchangeably. They certainly are related, but are they the same thing? For our purposes, we’ll define praise as the expression for worship. Reversing the order, “Worship” comes from one’s heart and mind to honor someone or something worthy of such high regard. “Praise” is the outward proclamation of the inner drive to worship. Worship bows in humble submission to something or someone greater. Praise springs forth in jubilant exclamation in word, music, or service. When the Bible’s song book, Psalms, concludes, the last verse proclaims, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” (And there’s a recent song by that title as well.) This expression celebrates the greatness of God. Earlier in Psalm 150 you can find reasons to worship/honor God by praising him, as well as ways to so (a variety of musical instruments in this instance).

Praise God!

Who is someone you know who definitely praises God?

Read Psalm 100:1-5

1. What does a “shout to the LORD” sound like or look like (vs. 1)?

  • Loud; very loud.
  • Lots and lots of enthusiasm, and probably dancing.
  • It happens in my church frequently.
  • It has to be authentic.
  • Children seem to be the best at doing this.
  • Music makes this more likely.
  • Awe-filled silence.
  • If you’re not part of it, it can look and sound very silly.
  • Other.

2.  Why is the whole earth invited to shout with joy to the LORD (vs. 1)?

  • This is just a way to include all the people of the earth.
  • We shouldn’t really praise God until we’re told to do so.
  • The earth already is doing it (Psalm 96:11-12).
  • As the Creator, God summons all his creation to respond to Him.
  • All creation groans (Rom. 8:22), so all creation can shout with joy.
  • This applies only to the Sabbath hours.
  • Everything created has an innate sense to praise their Creator.
  • It’s what everyone and everything everywhere is doing (Rev. 5:13).
  • Other.

3.  What does it take to acknowledge that God (Yahweh) is God?

  • Humility.
  • Common sense.
  • Openness to God.
  • Understanding who God is and who we are.
  • Faith.
  • Fear.
  • Belief in the supernatural.
  • Courage.
  • Other.

4.  Who made you?

  • My parents.
  • My environment.
  • My own choices.
  • God.
  • Teachers shaped me.
  • Circumstances.
  • The media.
  • The natural world.
  • Other.

5.  What are we invited to take into God’s presence?

  • The best we have.
  • The worst we have.
  • Everything we have.
  • A heart for God.
  • Shouts of praise.
  • Reverence.
  • Gratitude.
  • High expectations.
  • Other.

6.  What makes God good?

  • Mercy.
  • Love.
  • Power.
  • Creativity.
  • Justice.
  • Intimacy.
  • Generosity/Blessings.
  • Reliability.
  • Other.

7.  Why would you praise/worship God? Why wouldn’t you?

8.  What has God abundantly given you to pass along to others ?

Prayer Experiences

  • The two most common statements most people make in prayer are some form of “please” and “thank you.” For example, “God, PLEASE give me _______” or “PLEASE heal ______.” Our prayer of thanks could be as simple as “God, THANK YOU for ______” or “THANKS for healing _______.”
  • This week, stretch your prayer topics to include PRAISE—verbalizing what you think of this awesome God you worship. Some people confuse THANK YOU and PRAISE. Consider these simple definitions:
  • THANK YOU—Gratitude; something that causes you to think or to feel grateful. When you sat around the Thanksgiving table and somebody asked what you are thankful for this season and you said, “I’m thankful for _________.”
  • PRAISE—A feeling and expression of: Wow! Awesome! Awe! Honor! It can happen on the spur of the moment, like seeing something overwhelming. Wow! Check out that sunset! Wahoo! He scored a touchdown! You look absolutely stunning! Sometimes we plan this, but it also happens spontaneously. It strikes something within you to worship, so you respond with praise rather than keeping silent.
  • When do you say “Wow” about God or to God? Spend some time in prayer this week saying “Wow” to God. Notice the slight difference between PRAISE (Wow!) and THANK YOU (gratitude).

You made everything
You’ve existed for all time
You can heal anyone of anything

THANK YOU (gratitude)
You made me
You’ve been there all my life
You healed my grandma

For your prayer experiences this week, spend some of your time simply praising God for things that “Wow” you about him. It’s sort of like bragging about God. If you have difficulty doing this, prime the pump by reading one of the last five Psalms (Psalm 146-150). Each of these begins and ends with the word “Hallelujah” which is a Hebrew compound word that means “Praise Yahweh.”

Discussion Questions

Select from these questions, or let them prompt your own questions. You can reflect on these by yourself, or discuss them with another person or group of people.
  1. What amazes you about God?
  2. Where have you seen God’s activity? What was your response?
  3. Is music more likely to motivate you to worship or express your worship?
  4. Which of the following is most likely to cause you to praise God?
    • Miracles
    • Music
    • Scripture
    • Testimony
    • Answered Prayer
    • Feelings
    • Nature
  5. Is it possible to schedule a time and place for praise? If so, How? When? Where?
  6. Are you more likely to praise God by yourself or with others?
  7. Who or what do you worship?
  8. When do you muffle your worship? When do you express your worship through praise? 
  9. Which matters more to God: your words of praise or your actions of praise?
  10. Rank these in order of importance (worship) to you:
    • Money
    • Family
    • My Reputation
    • Health
    • God
    • Friends
    • My Abilities

Application Ideas

Consider applying praise/worship in several sets of twos:
  1. Privately
  2. In a group (family/friends/church)

  1. Planned/Scheduled time and place
  2. Unplanned/spontaneously

  1. Internally
  2. Externally

  1. Based on the testimony of Scripture
  2. Based on the declaration of someone’s testimony today

  1. Google “praise music” and pick options
  2. Google “nature scenes” and pick videos or photos

  1. Daily
  2. More than once a day

Sharing Options

  • Share your praise and worship first of all with God—the object of your worship and praise! Here are several ways to do this:
    • Kneel
    • Go prostrate—flat out on the ground (check out Genesis 17:3; Numbers 22:31; Joshua 5:14; Judges 13:20; 1 Kings 18:39; 1 Chronicles 21:16; Nehemiah 8:6; Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 8:17; Matthew 2:11; Luke 24:5). This seems to be much more common in Bible times than what we practice today.
    • Look toward heaven.
    • Check out some things in astronomy and marvel at God’s vastness.
    • Speak to God what is in your heart.
    • Write/Journal your praise to God.
    • Sing a song of praise to God.
    • Sing-Along a praise someone else gave to God, making it your praise as well.
    • Play praise music as your praise to God.
    • Play an existing playlist of praise songs or create a new one.
    • Speak your testimony to God.
    • Make noise to God.
    • Move/Dance before the Lord.
    • Serve another person, seeing God in them (Matthew 25:31-46)
  • You can also share your praise of God with someone else, either joining them, leading them, or simply sharing your praise together.
    • Share a favorite Psalm of praise with each other. If you would like another collection of praise Psalms, check out Psalm 111-118.
    • Share a current praise song that expresses your worship to God.
    • Share a hymn of praise.
    • Make music or other sounds of praise together.
    • Share your testimonies with each other about God.
    • Serve together as an act of praise to God.

Bible-In-My-Head, Heart, and Hand

  • For the full context, read Philippians 2:6-11. This includes the extreme degree to which Jesus gave up everything for us. This results in the highest worship and praise. The last verse culminates with this short sentence in Philippians 2:11 (NCV):
    “Everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bring glory to God the Father.”
  • For a longer passage to place in your 3H (Head, Heart, and Hand), go for Psalm 100—all five verses. Or, you could pick just one or two of the verses, from the translation of your choice. This Psalm can be a prayer, and reminder, and an expression of praise for you at any time and any place.


Enjoy the variety of music that speaks of abundance. 

Kids of All Ages by Pastor Melissa

We arrived at the castle at midday, and stood in line to under the merciless July sun beating down on us. I couldn’t wait to see the elaborate decor of the palace, the marbled pillars, the grand staircase, but what I looked forward to the most was touring the throne room. We waited in that crowded, sweaty line for what seemed like forever. We drank all our water. We ate all our snacks. We reviewed all the information in our guidebook. And still we waited.

Just as we were starting to worry about getting a really bad sunburn, the castle gates finally opened. A guard in old silver armor motioned us inside. The cold air of the dark stone castle instantly hit our faces, and our eyes tried to adjust. Tourists scattered this way and that to wander the old rooms aimlessly, but I knew exactly where I was headed. I even knew the way there.

 “Come on!” I urged Greg, taking his hand and leading him left through a corridor. “The throne room!”

“Are you sure this is the way?” he wondered. “You don’t even have the map open.”

But I had committed the castle map to memory while we waited in line, and I knew the twists and turns by heart. Greg followed me deeper and deeper into the castle, until we arrived at a large staircase leading up to heavy iron doors. The doors were opened to us. This was it! The throne room of the king, decorated in gold and grandeur, was even more beautiful than all the pictures had shown. I tried to imagine a king and queen of centuries ago, sitting on the elaborate massive thrones. What a life!

Have you ever been inside the throne room of a palace? Have you seen a movie or a show of a king and queen sitting on the throne? What would the most beautiful throne room look like in your imagination?

Somewhere in heaven, God is sitting on his heavenly throne right now, and I know it’s even more wonderful than anything we have seen or imagined. Did you know that the Bible says there is a way to feel like we are in that wonderful palace of heaven? Psalm 100 says that when we give Jesus our thanksgiving and praise, we enter through the gates and the courts of God. I know that doesn’t really happen yet - because that’s a throne room I still haven’t seen in real life. So what does this mean? I think this means that when we worship God with hearts full of love, when we sing for joy, praise His name, and thank Him for all the many blessings He’s given us - those songs and praises come right up to God’s ears inside His actual throne room.

Can you picture Him sitting there now? Sing a worship song with your family, shout some praises, or talk to Jesus in prayer about all the many things you’re thankful for. And when you do - picture God sitting on that gorgeous golden throne, smiling right back at you!

Family Questions:

  1. Ask each family member: what is your favorite praise song? Why is it your favorite?
  2. What are some things you feel so happy for, you could actually shout for thanks about?
  3. Read Psalm 100 together with your family. What is your favorite part? What does this teach us about Jesus?
  4. Older kids and Parents: does worship, thanksgiving and praise help us enter more fully into the presence of God? Why would this be, and how does it work? What is the message Psalm 100 is trying to teach us?