When my worship leader friend asked how I did personal worship, I explained that it was something that just came about naturally as I prayed. I don’t worship for X number of minutes and then proceed into intercession or spiritual warfare or any other kind of prayer.
Worship is a natural outflow of relationship with God. For me, it happens quite unconsciously throughout the day, along with other types of prayer — thanking the Lord for little things that He does for me, telling Him how much I love Him, thanking Him for being so good, kind, faithful, and merciful. When I am asking Him for something, I tell Him I know He will do it for me because of His goodness. (Answers to prayer are more about His giving nature than they are about our strenuous praying or our persistence — although persistent prayer is encouraged in the Bible.) When I am tempted to doubt, I tell the Lord that I know His character and that He will never fail me. I mentally put my hand in His and cling to Him in trust. Letting the Lord know we trust Him is a big part of worship.
I like to use His names to worship Him — He Who is able, He Who sees me, My hiding place, My exceeding joy, God of my praise, etc. If you are interested in the names of God, I have prepared a list of them for you — over 600 names by which God reveals His good nature to us.
I said in Part 1 that we have God’s Presence already with us, if we believe on Jesus as our Savior, but that there are things we can do to increase our awareness of His Presence. Continued worship and prayer throughout the day is the key to sensing Him with us. James 4:8 assures us that if we will draw near to God, He will draw near to us.
We can cultivate the habit of worship through practicing what Ephesians 5:18-20 says: “…Be filled with the Spirit [by] speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We can train ourselves to look for things to be thankful for throughout the day. After a while, thankfulness becomes second nature, but sometimes we have to actively practice it at first. Reciting or reading aloud encouraging portions of the Bible, such as the Psalms, gets our thoughts on the Lord and creates worship for His goodness in our hearts.
Creating a worshipful atmosphere in our home or car through music that exalts the Lord cultivates a sense of His Presence in us. Modern technology devices such as the iPod make it possible for many of us to listen to whatever we like all day long. I listen to very little music that is not of a worshipful nature. I find that whatever I listen to sticks in my head for days afterward, so if I keep to mostly worship music, I have that which exalts Jesus replaying in my mind. I end up “singing and making melody in my heart to the Lord.”
John 15:7 promises, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” “Abiding” is not the mystery we sometimes make of it. It is simply staying in a continual attitude of worship and communion with the Lord. Abiding (dwelling in a state of worship) brings about answered prayer. It also causes peace and joy to rule in our hearts. These are wonderful by-products of worship. We grow in abiding by practice — but as we develop the habit, we don’t have to think about it as much.
When we focus our attention, adoration, and affection on the Lord, no matter how we do so, this is worship. It flows from a continual attitude of thoughtfulness for His heart, His feelings, His desires, and a care for what makes Him happy. It is not about “doing,” but about “being” — being in a perpetual awareness of our wonderful God Who loves us so dearly and responding to His love with our adoration. Let your worship flow.