(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Have you ever started laughing because someone near you was laughing? Researchers have studied the phenomenon and proven that the way the brain reacts to the sound of laughter prepares and triggers the muscles to respond in the same way.
Is worship contagious? Is YOUR worship contagious?
I consulted the almost all-knowing Google to determine the answer to this question and found nothing of substance to prove that worship is inherently contagious.
But let me share a few anecdotal thoughts.
When around people who are worshipping (in prayer, singing, reflection on the Word, etc.) and responding to the greatness of God and the personal impact that has had on them, one can’t help but feel inspired by the heart-felt energy that comes from one who has been touched by the Gospel.
When someone cries, you feel like crying with them. When someone prays from the heart, you feel like praying with them. When you are having a crummy day and someone is praising God for the good and the bad of the day, you feel like your day just got better.
The reality is that when you are around the LORD and his people as they worship, it makes you want to do the same. When they are not, the enthusiasm to worship wanes.
Haven’t we all experienced a corporate worship setting where the singing is weak, the responses half-hearted and the sermon mundane? Do you feel like going back? Probably not (and I pray you haven’t experienced that at our church!)
But when you step into a setting where there is passion behind the singing (even if it’s a “joyful noise), where there is love in the interactions, and depth to the preaching, one is more likely to desire to return.
Because worship is contagious. It affects the people around you.
One example from the Bible is the account in Acts 16:
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
Why is worship contagious? Because the Spirit of God that is at work in you to produce the worship response is the same Spirit that works in the hearts of those around to create a similar response. In this case, the worship and witness of Paul and Silas affected the prisoners, but especially the jailor and his family. By the end of the evening, he too was “filled with joy” and probably singing a song or two with Paul and Silas!
But the contagion of worship didn’t stop with the jailor. God moved the jailor to respond to the worship of Paul and Silas, and God moved the family of the jailor to respond to the witness of the jailor. Who knows who was affected beyond that.
All because Paul and Silas were led to worship in prison. Their voices lifted up words in song and prayer and their hands lifted up actions to love and serve.
When you respond to who God is and what he has done for you, God can use it to lead others to do the same!
Apply: It is a fine line between worshipping to be “seen by people” versus the reality that others will see your worship. What opportunities do you have to worship through which God might work his Spirit in those that witness your worship?
1 Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.
2 Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.
3 Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.