Hand a piece of paper to each of your group members. Have them write at the top of their papers: "God I want to praise you because …" Then tell them they have two minutes to list reasons why they want to praise God. Encourage them to write as much as possible in those two minutes. When the two minutes are up read the following passage:
Come, let's shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!
Let's march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!
And why? Because God is the best, High King over all the gods.
In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns, in the other hand grasps the high mountains.
He made the Ocean-he owns it! His hands sculpted the Earth!
So come, let us worship: bow before him, on your knees before God, who made us!
Oh yes, he's our God, and we're the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.
Psalm 95:1-7 (The Message)
Leader, say to your group something like this:
This Psalm encourages us, as worshipers of the "best High King," to do a few things.
- Shout praises to God, raise the roof
- Sing praises to God, lifting the rafters
- Bow before God on our knees
So we are going to try to join the ancients in their kind of worship. This is a time to think outside of our usual "worship" box. I want you to take your list, "God, I want to praise you because …" and on the count of three I want you to shout, "God I want to praise you because …" and say the first two things on your list. We won't be shouting in unison … so it will seem chaotic. Just forget the people around you and shout your praises to the Lord."
(Leader encourage them to have fun and try this with an open mind.)
Next, take a few minutes to sing a couple of hymns or praise and worship songs. Encourage them to sing loudly, lifting the rafters in praise to God.
Lastly, have your group get on their knees. Have them take turns praising God by reading, "God, I want to praise you because … " and choose another praise from their list.
Leader pray while your group is still on their knees:
Lord, we've shouted our praises, sung songs of our love for you and bowed our knees to you. And why have we done such things? Because you, God, are the best, High King over all the gods. In Your hands You hold our whole world, You attend to every tiny detail. So we come in a spirit of worship … accept it Father. We love you. Amen.