The question of what is true worship has been debated for some time. While worship is many things to many people, it seems that this part of Revelation 5 outlines the essence of worship. In this passage, worship is absolutely God-centered. Worship in the thrown-room exalts the Creator above all created things because God is worthy of it. Worship has a visceral effect on all those who are in God’s presence. The four living creatures and the 24 elders keep falling down! Worship here is simply ascribing to God’s person and acts virtues of the highest order.
One image in this passage that stands out is the golden bowls full of incense, which the 24 elders hold in their hands. We are told that these represent the prayers of God’s holy people. Did you ever think of prayer as heavenly incense, a pleasing aroma in God’s nose? Did you ever think that our worship here on earth impacted worship in heaven? Did you ever think that we could presently participate in the worship of heaven? There is a unity of worship with the church militant on earth with the church triumphant in heaven. Our songs and prayers are intermingled with the songs and prayers of angels and archangels and thousands upon thousands of heavenly hosts – all in adoration of God and the Lamb. What a thought! We can join in the liturgy of heaven now with our praise, thanks, adoration, doxology, songs, expressions of love, shouts, hoots, and hollers.
Worship in this manner ought to have an effect on us. Lifehouse has a song with the questions, “How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?” I would contend that authentic worship not only effects heaven, but moves us here on earth. How? Let me make a few suggestions: