Use these 20 Bible Verses on worship to see what Scripture has to say on worshiping so you can deepen your relationship with God.
Is praise the same thing as worship?
You’ll notice in the verses below that I did not include general praise verses. As Got Questions describes, “worship is the art of losing self in the adoration of another. Praise can be a part of worship but worship goes beyond praise. Praise is easy; worship is not. ”
The Bible describes worship with a different tone than it does praise. While praise is often described as joyful and energetic, worship is an expression of adoration and reverence.
That’s why this post focuses on Bible verses on worship alone to lay the foundational groundwork on this topic before moving onto Bible verses on praise, as I believe getting to the heart of true worship is the first step before we can fully experience the authentic outpouring of joyful praise.
This is not a full list of every time worship is mentioned in the Bible (that would have been 254 verses!), but I do believe these verses hit the key components of worship.
So, let’s dive in!
Scriptures on Worship
1. Nehemiah 9:6
You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
Oh, how I love the tone set here in Nehemiah. This section of the book is describing the Isrealites confessing their sins. It describes them as spending the day reading the Law of the Lord, worshiping, and confessing.
The way they are recognizing and declaring God’s Almighty position here as Elohim, God our creator and life-giver, then describing that even the multitudes of heaven worship Him shows His power and omnipotence – a worthy God to worship.
2. Job 1:20
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship.
Job is such a heart-wrenching story for me to read. Everything in me wants to plead with God to protect him from Satan’s attacks. But, there’s a reason this story is part of God’s Word – what a powerful example of faith Job offers us.
This man has such deep faith that, even as Satan is destroying his life, piece by piece, his response is to fall down and worship the Lord, not blaming God for his misfortune but instead trusting him deeply.
He teaches us that grief is painful and hard as it strips away those things of this world that we hold so dear, but that in that stripping, it takes us back to our foundation – God, our rock.
It’s in those moments of recognizing God at the center of our lives and hearts that create deep and powerful worship.
3. Psalm 29:2
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
In that same heart, David writes in this Psalm that so much of worship comes from recognizing God’s glory and holiness – so much bigger than we can fathom.
4. Psalm 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
In this Psalm, David describes the kneeling position as a way to bow down in worship. Kneeling is not required for worshiping, of course, but it is an outward way to express the humility in our hearts, recognizing that He is our God and Creator.
5. Psalm 96:9
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
I think this particular Psalm is fascinating because many of the verses in this chapter describe praising God with song, but it also pairs the joyful praise with the healthy fear of the Lord, causing us also to tremble before Him in our worship.
6. Psalm 100:2
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
This is where that overlap in praise and worship comes in and I love that one expression of a truly worshipful heart is joyful song.
7. Daniel 3:28
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
The Old Testament is full of Bible verses warning people against worshiping idols, but this story in Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a powerful example of men refusing to worship idols and holding onto worshiping God and God alone, even in the face of their own death.
8. Matthew 2:11
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Where the Old Testament is full of warnings against idol worship, the New Testament is what lights my soul on fire on this topic.
We will continue to unpack what Scripture says on the topic as we go through the books, but this verse – when Jesus was just born and the kings get to worship their Savior, real and tangibly right in front of them in human flesh, for the first time.
I can only imagine the thrill they felt that night.
9. Matthew 4:10
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
This verse in Matthew was describing Jesus’ 40 days with the devil, being tempted in the wilderness.
The enemy tried to get Him to waiver by appealing to His physical needs (offering bread after Jesus had fasted for 40 days), encouraging Him to test God, and offering Jesus power if He would worship him…
But Jesus stood firm in worshiping God and God alone.
Such a great reminder that in our own times of temptation, we can feel stuck, but the truth is that we always have a choice to stand firm and keep God at the center of our lives, hearts, and choices.
10. Matthew 14:33
Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
It was really eye-opening to me how many verses including worship were very simply just recognizing Jesus for who He was.
It’s not complicated and certainly doesn’t require deep theology or complicated doctrines.
Worship simply requires that you recognize Jesus’ place in your life.
11. Luke 2:37
and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
But recognition isn’t the only example in Scripture showing us ways we can worship.
This verse in Luke shows a widow worshiping by fasting and praying.
12. John 4:23
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
The Gospel Coalition has a great description of what it means to worship in Spirit and in truth.
To worship in Spirit:
“To say that we must worship God “in spirit” means, among other things, that it must originate from within, from the heart; it must be sincere, motivated by our love for God and gratitude for all he is and has done.”
To worship in truth:
“Genuine, Christ-exalting worship must never be mindless or based in ignorance. It must be doctrinally grounded and focused on the truth of all we know of our great Triune God.”
13. Acts 13:2
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
So, what can happen when we worship? It can impact our hearts in mighty ways, but in this particular example in Acts, the Holy Spirit spoke to them during their worshiping and fasting – what a gift!
14. Acts 16:4
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
15. Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
16. 1 Corinthians 14:12
Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
1 Corinthians 14:12
This particular verse doesn’t mention worship but this entire section of 1 Corinthians 14 is on the “Intelligibility of Worship.”
There are specific examples mentioned (prophecy and speaking in tongues) but the heart of this section is captured in this verse – all of these gifts of the Spirit are great but keep the focus on those used in the body of the church for building up the body, not just connecting with God as an individual.
17. 1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
1 Corinthians 14:26
The every next section that includes this verse is titled, “Good Order in Worship” and it echos the same sentiment.
“When you come together…everything must be done so that the church may be built up.”
18. 1 Timothy 2:8-10
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1 Timothy 2:8-10
There is a full section in 1 Timothy 2 that describes specific “instructions on worship.” In this section, Paul encourages people to pray so that “we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Now, the section about falls directly under that plea to worship well while living peacefully, but there is quite a bit of controversy about the verse in this section encouraging women to learn in quietness and submission.
I’d encourage you to dig into that verse and do some research yourself, making sure to keep in mind the context of who Paul was talking to, why he would give that particular instruction, and how to apply his words to your worship today.
19. Hebrews 9:9-10
This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.
I love this verse in Hebrews because it shows how drastically worship has changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament.
In the Old Testament, worship was very structured. There was a tabernacle, a room called “The Most Holy Place”, and an alter for sacrifices that were required at the time.
In the New Testament, Jesus comes and changes everything. This is the new order – when Christ died as a ransom to set us free from our sins.
20. Hebrews 10:1
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
The whole chapter of Hebrews 10 goes into more detail, describing the way Jesus changed the way our worship looks now.
Instead of sacrifice, burnt offerings, and sin offerings, we can now:
- draw near to God with a sincere heart (v. 22)
- hold unswervingly to the hope we profess (v. 23)
- spur one another on toward love and good deeds (v. 24)
- encourage one another (v. 25)
Christ bought us the ultimate freedom – direct and unlimited access to God.