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How to Develop a Habit of Worship
We often talk about developing a daily habit of prayer and reading God’s Word. There are bible apps with step-by-step devotionals, podcasts, sermons, and tools to help us study the scriptures. But what about worship? How do we practically incorporate worship into our busy schedules and develop a habit of worship?
In 2 Chronicles 29-32, there’s the story of King Hezekiah, who inherits the kingdom of Judah from his evil father Ahaz. In the years prior, Judah had allowed many different types of worship, idols and influences into their cities and culture, which resulted in the loss of tradition and ultimately God’s blessing. Hezekiah made sweeping changes across the kingdom when he became king, restoring the temple and tearing down places of worship to other gods. As a result of his convictions and repentance, God blessed him.
“20 This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah. He did what was good and right and true to the Lord his God. 21 Hezekiah incorporated Moses’ Teachings and commands into worship and dedicated his life to serving God. Whatever he did for the worship in God’s temple, he did wholeheartedly, and he succeeded.” – 2 Chronicles 31:20-21 (GW)
Starting a habit of worship doesn’t require you to be perfect. It took time for King Hezekiah to change the traditions of worship in the kingdom of Judah, and it may take time for you as well. God’s grace is sufficient, and worship is an act of humility and surrender to Him.
As you prepare your heart to worship, take inventory of anything that could prevent you from drawing close to God and entering His presence. Just like Hezekiah removed false idols and places of worship, we too must reflect and remove any roadblocks or influences that would prevent us from opening our hearts and fully surrendering to God.
3 Ways You Can Practice Everyday Worship
- Worship through song.
In Jeremiah 20:13 (AMP) it says “Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! For He has rescued the life of the needy one From the hand of evildoers.”
If you’re a musician, this may come more naturally to you and be an easier habit to develop. If you’re not musical, choose a favourite worship music playlist or sing a song from your heart. Songs of worship help direct our focus on God’s goodness and outwardly express praise and adoration to Him. They can also help create an atmosphere that welcomes God’s presence and set the tone as we begin to pray or study His Word.
I find that listening and singing for 5-10 minutes will help prepare my heart to hear and talk to God. The best part is this can be easily incorporated into your daily schedule. Whether you’re driving in your car, at home making dinner or if you’re out walking by yourself. Personally, some of my favourite times worshipping God have been playing twilight golf, walking the golf course at sunset, and singing quietly to myself. It may sound crazy (and I may look crazy too), but it’s a moment in my day when I’m free from to-do lists, text messages and social media.
The important thing is to be intentional about finding a song that keeps your focus on God and choosing a time and place without distractions. Here is a Spotify Playlist I use to discover songs of worship. Your musical taste might be different, and that’s ok! I encourage you to find music that has sound theology and helps bring your heart into a place of worship.
- Worship with personal gratitude.
Psalm 100:4 (NKJV) says “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
A recent Harvard study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.
Have you ever thought about how you approach your relationship with God in prayer and worship? Do you take time to express gratitude or skip right to all the concerns and needs you have in the moment? The bible says we should enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise. When we routinely take time to acknowledge the good things He has given us, it not only takes the focus off ourselves, but also allows us to feel closer to God and more confident expressing our needs to Him in prayer.
Here are practical ways you can incorporate gratitude into your daily routine.
Daily gratitude app/journal. If you’re a person who already enjoys writing, this may be an easier habit to form. Personally, using a journal app on my phone is the best way for me to stay consistent. Every morning I get a notification to remember to be grateful and to take a few minutes to write a few things I am thankful for. In the evening before bed, I get another notification to reflect on my day and think about what I am thankful for. In total, it’s 10 minutes of my entire day, but it makes a big difference!
A daily confession. You can kick-start your day by reading (or memorizing) a daily confession of “who I am” statements. This practice affirms who we are in Christ and reminds us of who God has called us to be. If you’ve never tried a daily confession, below are links to help you get started.
Practice quiet worship throughout your day. When you add thankfulness and gratitude into your daily routine, you’ll begin to take notice of what’s around you. When those thoughts of gratitude pop-up during the day, use the moment to spontaneously thank God and praise Him for His goodness.
- Worship with your works.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV) says “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Do you know that God can be honoured by the way you chose to work, spend your time, or interact with others? Paul writes that in everything we’re to work as to the Lord,but what does that really mean?
I remember being a young boy and spending long hours at church on a Saturday afternoon while my father prepared his Sunday message. One particularly boring Saturday, as a way to keep my 9-year-old self from getting into mischief, my father gave me the exciting job of cleaning and shining the metal frames on all of the sanctuary chairs. I wasn’t thrilled with the assignment, which I quickly calculated was going to take a few hours to finish. After some grumbling he shared the same verse in Colossians 3, emphasizing that God would reward me and see my works. Now, I can’t say I spent that entire afternoon heartily working with a smile on my face, but I did my best to finish polishing all the chairs. 2 weeks later, to my surprise, an elderly lady in the church found me after a service with a box of chocolates and a hand-written note thanking cleaning the chairs. She was so impressed by how clean they were, that she sought me out and went through the extra effort to thank me. I think God used her to teach me a lesson. In whatever we do, when we do it as unto the Lord, he sees our works and will reward us.
Every day we are faced with decisions that can change the trajectory of our lives. Some of those decisions have an immediate impact and others take time before we see any change. Choosing to develop a habit of worship is a decision that will begin to pay dividends the more you do it. You just have to start!