by Phil Coleman
So what is personal worship? How do you go about worshiping on your own without a band, or a preacher, or your small group or weekend serving team? In the next several paragraphs, I’ve outlined some of my learning and experiences over the years that I hope will help you get started.
Schedule a daily appointment. Make it a priority like you do for other important meetings. Our twenty-four hours a day seem more and more restrictive. We never feel like we have enough time to accomplish everything we want or need to do, and the clock keeps ticking. Satan’s best weapon, busyness, will cause you to be able to ignore this vital part of your life longer than you should. When you’re alone with God, you draw closer to Him and get to know Him in a different way than you do in any group setting.
Invite God to transform (change) Romans 12:2 reads, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The first step is recognizing the rightful authority and power of Christ, and allowing God to shine His light into your life. Don’t be afraid to be transparent and vulnerable before Him. He already knows you better than you know yourself. Anything you hold back will be a stumbling block to your worship. Include times of praise and worship, confession and repentance, forgiveness, thanksgiving, intercession (prayer) for yourself as well as others, listening, and Bible study. Psalm 46:10 tells us to, “Be still and know that I am God.” It is difficult, if not impossible, for us to hear God’s still, quiet voice over the roar of the twenty-first century frenzy. In the presence of this mighty God who protects us when creation is in pandemonium, who preserves us in the midst of everything the world will throw at us, we are told to simply be still. Rest is a gift from God. Stop the mental racket. Get off the non-stop treadmill racing you through life. Take a moment to know God and to trust Him.
Discover images and aids that enable you to enter into the “presence” of God through the Holy Spirit that lives within you. Music, scripture reading, the Lord’s prayer, a lit candle or lamp, incense, kneeling, bowing, lying prostrate (flat) on the floor, drawing, dancing, writing/journaling, etc. There are also a lot of great books on the subject.
Experiment to discover what will be meaningful to you as you come to worship God. Don’t get hung up on form. Ask God to show you fresh ways to worship Him. Inspiring worship in not driven by a particular act – but rather the experience of God’s awesome presence.
Develop a personal passion for God. Passionate spirituality is born out of your daily walk and refers to the vibrancy and deepening of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Passionate spirituality is not something you “have.” Rather, it’s a path you are on, where you are continually learning from and growing closer to the Lord.
None of this will be easy at first. It’s going to be a little scary. And it will certainly be awkward. All relationships take time. God desires a personal relationship with you. He will faithfully be on the other end of your encounter urging you on and paving the way. Enjoy the intimacy to which He calls you and really get to know Him.