Holy Roar Study Guide: Seven Words That Will Change the Way You Worship

Holy Roar Study Guide: Seven Words That Will Change the Way You Worship

Paperback(Study Guide)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, June 17


In the ancient world, something extraordinary happened when God’s people gathered to worship him. It was more than just singing; it was time to fully embody praise to God for who he is and what he had done. In the Book of Psalms, there are seven Hebrew words that are translated into the English word “praise,” each of which represents a different aspect of what it means to truly praise God.

In this four-session video based Bible study (DVD/digital downloads sold separately), pastor Darren Whitehead shares insights on how to deepen your practice of praise by uncovering the true meaning behind each of these Hebrew words, and Chris Tomlin shares how those insights take shape in the stories behind many of his worship songs, including “How Great Is Our God,” “Holy Is the Lord,” “I Lift My Hands,” and “Good Good Father.”

Whether for use in your small group or your own personal use, Holy Roar provides insight and encouragement to deepen your practice of praise. Follow along as Chris and Darren lead you to the throne room of God. Join their invitation. Become a part of the Holy Roar.

This study guide includes video discussion questions, teaching notes, Bible exploration, and personal study and reflection materials for in-between sessions.

Sessions include:

  1. The Shout of Praise
  2. The Posture of Praise
  3. The Songs of Praise
  4. The Expectation of Praise

Designed for use with the Holy Roar Video Study (9780310098737), sold separately.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310098713
Publisher: HarperChristian Resources
Publication date: 02/12/2019
Edition description: Study Guide
Pages: 112
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

With 12 albums, 16 #1 radio singles, a Grammy Award, 21 Dove Awards, and two platinum and five gold albums to his credit, Chris Tomlin is among the most well-known and influential artists in music. His songs include “How Great Is Our God,” “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone),” “Our God,” and most recently, “Good Good Father,” to name a few. It is estimated that each week 20–30 million people sing one of Tomlin’s songs in worship. He also cowrote the bestselling children’s book, Good Good Father. More than anything, Chris loves being a husband to Lauren and a daddy to Ashlyn and Madison.

Originally from Australia, Darren Whitehead founded Church of the City in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2013. Each weekend around 6,000 people worship at one of the five locations across the metro area. Darren holds both his masters and doctorate degrees in ministry, with his dissertation research focusing on Millennial engagement in the Western Church. He lives with his wife, Brandy, and their three daughters, Sydney, Scarlett, and Violet in Nashville, Tennessee.

Beth Graybill is a leadership consultant, team development advisor and free-lance writer. She works alongside aspiring and seasoned leaders, authors, creatives and teachers to develop creative content for teaching, filming, writing and leading. Her projects have included Propel Women, Anchored Press Planners, local church curriculum and consulting material. Beth, her husband Matt, and their two boys are based in Southern CA where her Matt is on staff at Saddleback Church. To learn more about her, follow her on social media @bethgraybill.

Read an Excerpt



The most valuable thing the psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance. ... [They] stand out as something astonishingly robust, virile, and spontaneous; something we may regard with an innocent envy and may hope to be infected by as we read.

C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms



haw-lal': To boast. To rave. To shine. To celebrate. To be clamorously foolish.

Let them praise [halal] his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.

Psalm 149:3



shaw-bakh': To address in a loud tone. To shout. To commend, glory, and triumph.

One generation shall praise [shabach] Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.

Psalm 145:4 NKJV


Picture this — you're standing in the middle of five million people the moment the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. For the past century, dedicated fans have been saying hopeful prayers for their team as they watched them play at Wrigley Field, or listened to their games on the radio, or watched on their television sets as they gathered around the dinner table. But all seemingly to no avail ... until the Cubs make this eleventh appearance in the World Series in 2016. Finally, after 108 long, long, long years of waiting, the Cubs have claimed the pennant!

Whether you're a baseball fan or not, you can imagine what it would be like to stand in the middle of that crowd, with people yelling, cheering, and even crying tears of joy. Hands are lifted. Towels and T-shirts are waved high in the air. People share hugs and high-fives and give shouts of joy — all in the name of celebration. Perhaps you've experienced something similar during a raucous concert, a sporting event, or some kind of gathering. No matter where you've experienced it, you know that when you're in the middle of that kind of celebration, you can't help but feel the excitement and energy pulse through your veins.

Or maybe you've experienced this type of celebration at a wedding. You know the one ... that reception where it seemed the entire guest list was out there on the dance floor. Maybe your preference was to stay on the edge of the dance floor, where you felt a bit more comfortable — gently swaying back and forth to the beat. Or maybe you were the one out there, with all eyes on you (and your dance moves) at center stage. Either way, there was just something about this collective celebration of movement that just drew you in. There was something that made you want to celebrate with others and have crazy fun together.

When you experience moments like this, it's easy to see that the God of the universe made each of us to praise him with abandon, like foolish but fun-loving children, together in unity. God wants our full and free expression of praise — and his desire for our praise isn't contingent on our personalities, our feelings, or our comfort zones. In fact, God doesn't just desire our worship but also requires our worship. And as we see in the book of Psalms and other places in the Bible, that worship often takes the form of exuberant shouts of praise!


Welcome to the first session of Holy Roar. If you or any of your fellow group members do not know one another, take a few minutes to introduce yourselves. Then, to get things started, discuss one of the following questions:

• Have you ever been to an event where there was a lot of loud celebration — a concert, a sporting event, a musical or show? If so, what was it like?


• What does the phrase "shout of praise" mean to your church family? How is it expressed in your weekly worship?


Play the video segment for session one. As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts or concepts that stand out to you.


There are seven Hebrew words translated as praise in the book of Psalms ...

The Hebrew word halal means ___________________________ ______________________________. It is where we get the word ___________________.

The essence of halal is ...

Another aspect of the word halal is ...

The Hebrew word shabach means _________________________ _______________________. It involves the idea of God's people coming together to ...

Every time the body of Christ gathers together, what they are celebrating is ...

How Great is Our God — why this is an anthem of praise ...

"You're the name above all names" — shabach happens when people ...


Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture.

1. What are a few key points that stood out to you from this session?

2. Think about the stories Darren told of the Jewish wedding and the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series after a 108-year drought. What are some other ways people celebrate halal and shabach as a culture outside of church?

3. Read aloud Psalm 104. What are some reasons King David lists in these verses for praising the Lord? Which of these stand out to you?

4. How do David's words remind you of all God has done? Why is it often easy to overlook these "simple" things God does all the time? Why is it important to remember these?

5. Read aloud Psalm 150. How is God celebrated in this passage? What does it look like for "everything that has breath" to "praise the Lord"?

6. How does your church celebrate halal and shabach? In what ways is this the same or different as the way you see it celebrated in these psalms?


Close out today's session by briefly reviewing the outline for the video teaching and any notes you took. In the space below, write down the most significant point you took away from the session and why it is meaningful for you. If there's time, share your answer with the group.


Consider worshiping together as you close out your group discussion. Play "How Great Is Our God" on your streaming device, or ask someone in your group if they would be willing to play it on a musical instrument. Focus on the words of the song and think about the ways in which they capture the essence of halal and shabach. Close by spending a few minutes in prayer together.

How Great Is Our God

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty Let all the Earth rejoice All the Earth rejoice

He wraps himself in light And darkness tries to hide And trembles at His voice Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me How great is our God, and all will see How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands And time is in His hands Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One Father Spirit Son The Lion and the Lamb The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me How great is our God, and all will see How great, how great is our God

Name above all names Worthy of our praise My heart will sing How great is our God

You're the name above all names You are worthy of our praise And my heart will sing How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me How great is our God, and all will see How great, how great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me How great is our God, and all will see How great, how great is our God

The whole world sings, the whole world sings How great is our God How great is our God How great, how great is our God

Songwriters: Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, and Ed Cash. From the album Arriving.

Copyright © 2004 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/ASCAP (adm. @ CapitolCMGPublishing.com)/ Alletrop Music/BMI All rights reserved. Used by permission.


Reflect on the content you've covered this week in Holy Roar by engaging in any or all of the following between-sessions activities. The time you invest will be well spent, so let God use it to draw you closer to him. At your next meeting, share with your group any key points or insights that stood out to you as you spent this time with the Lord.



* Read Leviticus chapters 23 and 25. The author of these passages in the Old Testament uses the word halal to describe the way people might celebrate a festival. What kind of festivals does the Lord direct his people to celebrate throughout these two chapters?

* Which one stands out the most to you? Why?

* What can we learn from the ancient Israelites regarding the way they celebrated special moments and seasons during their time?

* What are the special moments in your life that are cause for celebration?

* What are the special moments in your church community that are cause for celebration?


* Think about the story Chris told of writing the song "How Great Is Our God" and his experience with the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda. Is there praise you long to give to God today? In what ways has God been a "great God" in your life?

* Is there a particular song or anthem that speaks to you as you offer your praise to God? Write down a few words of the song that come to mind.

Take time to pray today. Ask God to open your eyes, your heart, and your mind to the opportunities for celebration around you. And as you celebrate those special moments and special people, may you also offer a praise of celebration to God for his goodness in your life.


Pick a special occasion or moment to celebrate today. Is there a season when God provided for you or came through in ways only he can do? Just like the journey of the Israelites, there are many moments to celebrate if you're willing to pause and reflect back over God's goodness in your life. Write a note of praise, make a special meal, create something that reminds you of that time, sing, or dance in celebration. Celebrate in whatever way seems most natural to you.



* Read Psalm 22:22–26, Psalm 69:30–36, and Psalm 109:30–31. These verses were written by King David in first person but were often sung corporately in ancient Israel. What stands out to you in each of these psalms? Why?

* Imagine a gathering where people are singing your words of prayer and praise to God. What specific prayers or praises would they be singing?

* Consider your community. What specific prayers or praises would you want to sing on behalf of your friends, family, co-workers, students, neighbors, and others?

* How would you describe your preferred style of prayer and praise?

* How would others describe your preferred style of prayer and praise? If there's a difference between your answers for these two questions, why do you think this is the case?


* During the teaching this week, Chris mentioned how the song "How Great Is Our God" for him has become an anthem of prayer and praise. What are some songs that you would consider an "anthem of corporate praise"? Why do those songs resonate with you?

* What is the power of simply declaring the greatness of God? When are some times in your life when you found that this was your prayer?

Take time to pray today. Ask God to remind you of moments when you have been impacted by corporate prayer and praise. Sit for a few moments with those memories. Consider what you were thinking, feeling, and experiencing in those moments. Thank God for the gift of those corporate worship experiences and praise God for his presence in your life.


If you could pray or praise on behalf of someone close to you, what would you say or sing? Write down your prayer or praise on behalf of that person and share it with them in a text, email, or a personal note. Also reach out to a close friend or trusted family member to share a specific prayer or praise for your own life. Ask them to pray with you and for you.



* There are many passages in the Old Testament that speak of praising God and celebrating his festivals, but there are also numerous stories of praising God in the New Testament. Read Luke 15:11–32 and Acts 3:1–10. What stands out to you in these two stories?

* What did praise and celebration look like in the story of the Lost Son?

* What would you be feeling or thinking if you returned home after running away and received this kind of celebration?

* What did praise and celebration look like in the story of the lame beggar healed in the temple?

* What would you be feeling or thinking if you were healed after a lifetime of not being able to walk?

* When there are good things to celebrate in your own life, how do you stay mindful of honoring God with your praise and worship?

* Is there a recent celebration in your life where you neglected to give God praise? If so, name it and take a moment to offer words or songs of praise to God right now.


* During the teaching this week, Chris mentioned there are moments for everything — for kneeling, being quiet, lifting your hands ... and moments "where it's just a full shout out to God in celebration to God." How do you react to the idea of this type of worship? When was the last time (if ever) that you expressed a "holy roar" to God in praise?

* Think about situations where people feel the freedom to be loud and clamorously foolish (such as a sporting event, a concert, or some other type of public celebration). What are the marks of that kind of celebration? What is it about the environment that makes it comfortable to celebrate in those ways?

Take time to pray today. Ask God to give you more freedom in the way you praise and celebrate. Ask him to show you what moves you to want to yell and cheer. Thank God for those moments of unsubdued praise and commit to worshiping him in the same way.


The next time you are at a concert, a sporting event, or are enjoying a rowdy game where you lift your voice and your hands in celebration, stop and consider celebrating God in that moment as well. As you become mindful of giving "thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18), you will carry the holy expressions of halal and shabach with you everywhere you go.



* Read Psalm 63. David penned this song when he was a fugitive from the jealous King Saul and was hiding in the wilderness. What stands out to you in this passage?

* Imagine that you are in David's situation. You have been anointed as the next king of Israel (see 1 Samuel 16:1–13) but are now running for your life and hiding out in caves. What would you be tempted to think about God given these circumstances? What did David think about God?

* Have you ever had your own "desert wilderness" season? How hard or easy was it for you to praise God in the middle of that season?

* If you are in the middle of that season right now, what praise do you need to cry out to God? What questions do you have for God? Remember that God is big enough to handle all of your disappointment, anger, frustration, and praise at the same time.


* Listen to or read through the lyrics of the song "How Great Is Our God" with your "desert wilderness" season in mind. What is it like for you to experience the words of this song with that difficult season in mind? What thoughts, questions or images are stirring for you?

* What words or phrases in this song stand out to you in a new way?

Take time to pray today. Ask God to give you freedom in the way you praise and celebrate. Ask him to show you what moves you to want to yell and cheer and be wild and crazy. Thank God for those moments of unsubdued praise and commit to worshiping him in the same way.


Pick an anthem of praise you can sing for a wilderness season you are facing. What song best describes your challenges or inspires you toward hope and praise? If this exercise brings comfort or healing to your soul, go back to past wilderness seasons and consider which anthem would have described that particular time in your life.


Excerpted from "Holy Roar"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction, 5,
How to Use This Guide, 7,
Session 1: The Shout of Praise, 9,
Session 2: The Posture of Praise, 35,
Session 3: The Music of Praise, 57,
Session 4: The Expectation of Praise, 79,
Leader's Guide, 103,
The Seven Hebrew Words of Praise in the Psalms, 109,

Customer Reviews