Why does God, self-sufficient in himself, need our praise and
While playing football in the garden, our two-and-a-half-year-old son
disappeared into the hedge and re-emerged with two wind-battered daffodils.
“Here you are, Daddy,” he said. I did not need these daffodils, nor did I
really know what to do with them; but I wanted them more than anything — or,
rather, I wanted the heart that gave them more than anything. Maybe fatherhood
gives me a glimpse of what praise and worship mean to a self-sufficient God.
Rowan Williams puts it well: “All we can do is offer God playful gifts, the
gifts of our celebration, our playing. He does not need it, but he wants the
hearts that will and can rejoice, gratuitously, uselessly, pointlessly and
beautifully, in what he has done” (Open to Judgement, DLT, 1994).
(The Revd) R. Paul Davies
St Davids, Pembrokeshire
Self-sufficiency is not an attribute of God. It is true that creation
depends for its existence on the Creator, while the Creator is self-existent;
but God’s nature is to give life and love and freedom, delight in his
handiwork, and seek a response from his creatures, which is their greatest
good. God does not need our praise and worship, but, like the father in the
parable of the Prodigal Son, he throws a party and invites us to join the
(Canon) John Goodchild
The answer is inherent in the question. But it is natural for us to worship:
praise and worship of our Creator is the natural result of belief (Psalm 19.1),
and of being forgiven (Psalm 102.2-3); it is a privilege that God affords us,
the greatest privilege that human beings can enjoy (Psalm 122.1); and God takes
delight in our worship, because God wishes us to fulfil the purpose of our
creation, and enjoys seeing us doing so (Psalm 96.8).
Christopher Haffner (Reader)
East Molesey, Surrey
It’s we who need to worship God. Peter Shaffer put it succinctly in Equus:
“Without worship you shrink, it’s as brutal as that.”
Rosemary King (Reader)
Does anyone know of a computer database programme for the church
inventory? A. O.
Why do some churches use white communion wine? Should it not surely
be red (symbolising blood)?
Address for answers and more questions: