…a listener asked this morning. She continued, “I am a faithful Christian and listen to your videos often. I pray regularly throughout the day but what I feel I’m missing is worship. You talk of hours spent worshiping and I honestly don’t know what that means.”
I used to wonder the same thing! HOW do you spend hours with the Lord…worshipping?? In prayer?? What in the world do you DO all that time?! It wasn’t until I started intentionally setting aside a block of time, dedicating it to spend with Jesus in whatever way He chose that I began to understand this. When we allow Him to lead us, literally ask Him, “What would you like to do in this time with me?” He will step in and move your heart towards every direction HE desires: prayer, contemplation, worship and praise. This is the time you will most likely clearly hear Him speak to you, too.
I’ll take this morning for an example. When I wake up, I do nothing towards my day except grab my phone (where all my worship music is) and my ear buds and settle in with the Lord. My Bible is nearby as well as my computer, ready to use for a reading, a rhema or for recording a word from the Lord, if He so chooses. (Of course I tend to my body, like use the bathroom, take my medications, drink a large glass of water so my stomach isn’t vying for my attention…I sometimes keep a snack nearby to hold me until I eat an actual meal.) I make sure I’m in a quiet place where no one is going to walk through the room, or come ask me questions, the dogs won’t come wandering past barking, etc.
Now, I thank the Lord for this time with Him, ask Holy Spirit to choose the songs He wants me to hear, put the albums on shuffle and listen. I cannot tell you how perfect His choices are – because I usually start this time with my mind full of this and that, worries, prayers for others, complaints…sigh. You name it. (Yes, my mind wanders all over creation while the music is playing. That’s okay. I focus on what I can, and He re-focuses me when He wants to!) As I bring each of those things to Him, He takes them and carries them away or brings answers to me. Or just gives me peace over them. Often, just as I am thinking about something in particular, He will bring up just one phrase from a song that will break into my thoughts, and be the precise thing I needed to hear at just that point. It’s truly uncanny!
For instance, this morning He started me out with a love song to Himself. This set my heart’s tone to remember why I was doing this in the first place! And melted my heart towards Him right from the start. After a while, I began to “worry” over a soul I care deeply for and don’t know how to help. In the midst of those thoughts, another song came up from the Psalms that addressed the issue. A little later, my heart swung over to praying for the Jews in Israel (I have a special place in my heart for His people, always have…) and one of Paul Wilbur’s songs about Zion came popping up.
It’s like a long, sweet conversation with Him. He sends love songs, gives me opportunities to sing over Him as He sings over me, encourages me, prompts me to pray…it’s hard to describe, actually. It’s a personal, one-on-one time just between He and I. Wouldn’t work or mean anything to anyone else if they were to copy it all – but I KNOW that we are speaking very plainly with each other. And to make the time even more precious, He often DOES speak to me directly in these times.
When I have unlimited time, I’ll sense Him telling me that it’s time to pray or read Scripture. Sometimes He’ll make me laugh by signaling this, putting on a song I’m not so fond of! Then I’ll listen to my heart, and soon sense that He’d like me to pray the Mercy Chaplet, or it’s time to pray the Binding Prayer for the day. As an aside to that, I’ll just say that I take this time with the Binding Prayer to include a great many people in prayer – first listing all those I am praying over and perhaps their individual needs at that time. Many of these souls I pray mercy for, as they don’t know Him, or have turned from Him. Then I continue on with the Prayer itself, covering all those I just listed/considered before Him.
I take communion daily with Him. At this time, I ask Holy Spirit for a rhema, a passage to read that is especially for me at that time. Then I invite Jesus and Papa and Holy Spirit to come join with me, asking the Father to consecrate the elements for me. I take the elements while listening to one of a few specific communion songs I have, again combining worship in my time with Him. This is usually a special, sweet time of fellowship, too.
Now, I know that my life circumstance grants me much more time than many of you have. I can literally take a large block of time in the morning and another block at night to spend with Him on a daily basis. I know that many of you all have small children, jobs, etc. that don’t allow you anything like that kind of time. But I will tell you – two hours can go by in a flash this way. It seemed no more than 10 minutes this morning. And even then I grieved that my life was calling me to end this time and “get on with life.” The further beauty of it is, this time of precious dwelling with Him carries with me all day long. Even as I type this, I sense His presence just next to me…
The bottom line is, no matter if you can eke out 30 minutes or many hours in your day, I can’t advocate ANYTHING more strongly than finding time to spend with Him everyday. You will never regret it. And I’m pretty sure that once you taste the sweetness of that time…you’ll find yourself putting aside other things you think you can’t live without doing – and heading to that quiet place with Him instead.