Worship should be a daily habit, not something that only happens in a worship service. If worship is ‘an active response to God whereby we declare His worth’ then we can do it anytime, every day.
An effective Worship Time has two main functions:
- To build a deeper relationship with God – communication.
- To learn more about the things of God – education.
So let me make some practical suggestions for your Personal Worship Time:
1 – Preparation (Habakkuk 2:20).
Just as you would expect a church worship service to have some preparation, don’t just dive into your personal worship time without any preparation. Maybe you will need to get the materials, or decide what you will do, beforehand. At least take a few moments to quiet your heart before God. Take one minute and simply quiet your thoughts. You’ll want to approach God with reverence, joy and a sense of expectation.
2 – Praise & Music (Psalm 100).
Spend some time either singing or listening to some good music that stirs your heart. Music touches our emotions. You want your emotions involved in your worship. Spend some time in praise and thanksgiving for who God is and what He is doing in your life. Think of five things to give God thanks. Perhaps you could pray back some of the Psalms back to God in worship.
3 – Personal Assessment (Psalm 139:23-24).
Make sure there isn’t anything in your life that is displeasing to the Lord – this will hinder your time with Him. If there is any wrongs that have not been confessed, tell it to God. If you have any weaknesses, admit them and ask for help. Ask God to let you know if there is any action you need to take (confession, repentance, cleansing, restitution).
4 – Time in the Word (Psalm 119:18).
Read, study, or meditate on a section of the Bible for a good personal worship time. Every worship time, personal or public, should listen to God’s Word. Try to cover a paragraph each time. A chapter would be better. Consider keeping a Bible Study Diary following the SPACE format: Sins to confess, Promises to claim, Actions to avoid, Commands to obey, Examples to follow. Jot down any thoughts in your journal that God places in your mind regarding action you should take.
5 – Time in Prayer (Philippians 4:6; Psalm 5:3).
You will probably be talking with God throughout your worship time. But you need to have some specific moments when you share your heart with Him in a more focused fashion. A helpful guide is the ACTS model: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. You can also use the Lord’s Prayer as a guide, or simply pray it to God. Remember, you can pray about anything: family members, your job, your spiritual growth, friends, enemies, non-Christians, your pastor, missionaries, problems, joys, whatever. Consider keeping a Prayer Journal, noting your prayer requests and jotting down answers as they come.
6 – Commit Your Day (Proverbs 3:5-6).
End your worship time by letting God know that you’ve appreciated your time with Him and you want to ‘stay tuned’ throughout the day. Ask Him to guide and protect you, recommit yourself to Him as His servant – available for anything He wants you to do.
The rule of thumb is: do it when you know you can be alert. But if you can handle it, schedule it first thin in the morning.
It depends how vital you think your worship time with Jesus actually is. Most mature Christians would consider it extremely vital – on the same level as eating, sleeping, breathing and brushing your teeth. We do vital things every day. So, if getting time with Jesus is vital, it should be done daily. You may have to skip a day occasionally, and that’s OK. But make it a goal to have your Personal Worship Time daily. Before long, you’ll find you can’t start a day without it.
Choose a place that is quiet, comfortable, secluded, and free of distraction and interruption. You may have to get creative if you live in a crowded situation, but he Lord will help you think of a place. If obvious places aren’t available (your bedroom, office, kitchen before the rest of the household gets up), consider places like your car, garage, furnace room a closet, storage shed, etc.)
Why not start out with five minutes? Most of us could agree to give the Lord such a small amount of time, particularly when we will be the major beneficiary of that investment. Before long you will probably find yourself wanting to spend ten minutes. Then fifteen. Then twenty, thirty….
Don’t get in a rut.
Vary your routine for afresh experience. Maybe read a devotional book. Take a walk in the early morning instead of sitting at a desk. Alter your prayer objectives. Change the length of time. Write out your prayers. Spend a whole day with the Lord.
Stick to it.
Behavior specialists tell us that it usually takes most people a minimum of 21 days of successful attempts to establish a new habit. Prayerfully commit to a goal of having a Personal Worship Time every day for 21 days without fail. Keep it going.