The other day, I was feeling a bit rumpled in my spirit. (I wrote about it HERE). I wrote about how God met me where I was at and what a beautiful thing that was.

I also realized something else that morning – something that was stealing my joy. The thing is, this spring has been overwhelmingly busy. A lot of the things that made me busy were good things. Things like my son’s senior year winding up and him getting some awards and recognition for his hard work (which greatly embarrassed him but had me beaming from ear to ear). Things like speaking at Converge, a teen conference that had almost 1,000 attendees (the conference, not my class!). Things like surprising my husband for his 50th birthday (and pulling it off!) and celebrating my son’s graduation with a big party.

I will bless the LordHis praise will continually be in my mouth

All good things, but it’s been kind of exhausting, all the things. And because I’ve been so busy, I’ve kind of short changed my time with God more mornings than I’d like to admit. I usually try to spend an hour each morning, but over the past six weeks or so, that time has been cut short. My prayers have been sort of to the point – not a lot of time for “extras” like worship and thanksgiving, or at least not more than cursory nods to those things.

So, the other morning, I decided despite the many needs of the people I know, that I was going to spend my time worshiping and thanking God. I wasn’t going to bring Him my laundry list of needs. I was just going to focus on His greatness.

And you know what happened? It transformed my day. The cup of joy that had run a bit dry, overflowed again. My world and circumstances hadn’t changed. There were still a lot of needs – real ones – all around me,  but what had changed was my perspective.

That’s the thing – worship brings joy into our life. A friend of mine who attends my Sunday school class, shared her word for the year. It was Praise. She said she chose praise because the Bible tells us that God inhabits the praise of His people and she wanted more of God’s presence.

Happy little girl
Happy little girl

In the Psalms, David was always pretty raw about his feelings and emotions. Often a Psalm would start with all of his troubles and some of them were pretty serious, but then David would purposely start to praise God. By the end of the Psalm, his perspective had changed.

That’s what worship and praise does. Yes, we are praising God and we are worshiping Him. We are doing it FOR and TO God, but I love how God blesses us even in something that isn’t supposed to be about us at all.

We pour out our praise to God like an offering, and He splashes joy back on us.

I’m not sure how I forgot this, but what really transformed my prayer life was incorporating worship and praise into my personal quiet time. I grew up in church, but for some reason, worship to me was the songs we sang between the opening prayer and the sermon. When I started to worship on my own, it was life giving and transforming.

If you are new to personal praise and worship, you might feel a bit awkward. I know I did. I mean, it’s not like God doesn’t know who He is. But please don’t let awkwardness keep you from spending time every day worshiping God – even if you can’t sing.

Here are five ways to worship individually besides singing along to worship songs.

  1. Read a Psalm to God, substituting personal pronouns. For instance, if you are reading Psalms 34:1, it says, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” You can turn that into personal worship by saying, “I will bless You at all times; Your praise will always be in my mouth.” It gets easier with practice.
  2. List God’s attributes out loud. A lot of times, I will take the alphabet and list one of God’s attributes for each letter. You do have to get a bit creative with letters like x.
  3. List God’s promises out loud. I write down the verses with promises on a 3×5 card, and then I personalize it by saying the promise and then praising God for the ways He has fulfilled it in my life. I always felt kind of weird reminding God of all the good stuff about Him, until I realized that it’s more about reminding me of who God is not reminding Him who He is.
  4. Write out a praise poem. I like to write my worship poems in shapes, but that’s just me. Some people color code them or draw doodles or just write them out. The nice thing about writing something out like that is you can look at it again and be reminded of how awesome God is.
  5. Read hymns out loud. A lot of hymns have some great theology about who God is and what He does for us. For me, reading something familiar out loud makes the words sink in a bit more than when I sing them.

Don’t just limit yourself to these suggestions. Be creative. God certainly is and He is pleased when we worship and praise Him.

What is your favorite way to worship God? I’d love to hear about it!

Blessings, Rosanne

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