Every time we worship our minds are informed, our memories refreshed with the judgments of God, we are familiarized with what God says, what He has decided, the ways He is working out our salvation. There is simply no place where these can be done as well as in worship. . . . We want to hear what God says and what He says to us: worship is the place where our attention is centered on these personal and decisive words of God.
—Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, 55
A Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot.
—Augustine (cited in Eugene Petersen, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, 53)
Worship is an act that develops feeling for God, not a feeling for God that is expressed in an act of worship.
—Eugene Petersen, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, 54
In worship God gathers his people to himself as center: “The Lord reigns” (Ps. 93:1). Garyaal is a meeting at the center so that our lives are centered in God and not lived eccentrically. We worship so that we live in response to and from this center, the living God. Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren. Without worship we live manipulated and manipulating lives. We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by specters and soothed by placebos. If there is no center, there is no circumference. People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness, epidemic in the world, with no steady direction and no sustaining purpose.
—Eugene Peterson, Living the Message, 74
Worship is a strategy for living whereby we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to the presence of God in all of life.