PART 10 – LEARNING TO WORSHIP (6/3/20)
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”
I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of sitting down to write a card - maybe a birthday card - for someone that you love, but you just can’t think of what to say. There’s too much to say and something within us holds us back from pouring out our affection and gratitude. Some of us find it very hard to express our love, and we end up saying the underwhelming when what we feel is, “You are the most precious Jewel that I’ve ever seen; your beauty outshines a thousand suns; without you my life would be overcast and wave crashed like a winter’s day on a pebbled beach; you are God’s gift like a warm Spring afternoon...” But, of course, I can’t say that! Likewise, we must learn to worship. We must learn the skills, vocabulary and learn to express ourselves openly.
This week we've looked at what it means to say "Hallowed be your name", but we need to actually do it and do it as a lifestyle.
Learning to worship
i)Learn by using God's words
Firstly, we must develop our vocabulary. This, firstly, comes through the Bible. Using this prayer or the psalms for example - using the phrases as inspiration to worship to God. As you read the Bible, note the different ways and words that the authors use to worship God. A good way to start worshipping is to simply read a portion of the Bible aloud (Psalms are very helpful) and repeat the terms, declaring them to God for yourself.
ii) Learn through Great hymns
Singing great Christian songs is also a vital way to develop our worship skills. Here is a link to CCP Worship Songs on Spotify:
iii) Learn by Singing with the spirit
Worshipping in ‘tongues’ or ‘in the Spirit’ is a gift from God to help us to worship.
Please read 1 Corinthians 14:1-5.
‘So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding’ (1 Corinthians 14:15).
Tongues is a gift of the Spirit whereby we speak or sing to God in a language unlearnt by the speaker for the purpose of strengthening. Ask God for this gift and take a step of faith; alternatively, ask a trusted Christian leader to pray with you.
iv) Learn by worshipping personally and with the church
Our personal worship will enrich our public worship and vice-versa. I know that it was through going to church, prayer meetings, small groups... that I learned how to pray and worship. We all learn from example more than we ever do from books or teaching. We become like those we spend time with, and if we spend time with worshippers, that’s what we’ll become! I’ve made it my priority to worship personally at the beginning of each day. I begin by reminding myself of who God is and what He’s done to save me. I encourage you to put first things first also. Let John Wesley’s words spur you on,
‘Sing all. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can. Let not a slight degree of weakness or weariness hinder you. If it is a cross to you, take it up and you will find a blessing…Sing lustily, and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength…Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature…’ (Extracts from John Wesley’s Rules For Singing 1761)
In response, take some time to worship God. Maybe you could read Psalm 103 aloud. Re-read the first five verses aloud a number of times. Try inserting other terms like “I thank you that…” or “I praise you that…” Get carried away!
During this series, let's aim to memorise and meditate on The Lord's Prayer.
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?