Being confined to the house during the COVID-19 crisis has brought many challenges. Personally, I’m not sure how I would handle the ever-changing tumult without vibrant personal worship. The fact is, I need Jesus now more than ever. Here are two things I’ve done during this time to refresh my personal worship.
1. I Get Up Early
I try to get up at least ninety minutes before the rest of my family stirs. This gives me time to get ready, make some coffee, grab my Bible, and spend time with Jesus.
Rising early, before the hustle of the day, and meeting with God is something even Jesus practiced. In Mark 1, after a full day of calling disciples, casting out demons, teaching, and healing many, it says, “And rising early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
I’ll be honest, sometimes getting up early, with the sting of sleep still in my eyes, can feel like a “desolate place.” But taking the time to commune with Christ before email, news, social media, texts, and the general demands of the day has been incredibly rewarding.
My days are filled with varying levels of “noise.” I’m willing to bet yours are too. It might be the noise of family, social media, work, school, financial worry, or health concerns. Maybe it’s a combination of these. Maybe it’s more. Whatever the noise, I’ve found that starting my day with “quiet” enables me to listen to Jesus before all of the noise sets in. Then I can draw from his well of living water throughout the day to respond to life’s challenges with the grace of Christ. So, I pour that coffee, open my Bible, and pray that the Spirit will make me a willing listener in the quiet.
Depending on your life stage, early morning might not work best for you. But I challenge you to think about when the “quiet” part of your day is and dedicate it to personal worship. A time like this could form a habit of communion with him that lasts well into your future.
2. I Change My Posture
I was challenged about two years ago to get on my knees more when I pray. It’s a simple idea, but it made me realize that I couldn’t remember the last time I had bowed myself before Jesus. So, I started to make it part of my daily prayer routine. And I have to admit, I love it.
There are many biblical examples of people bowing and lying prostrate before God in prayer. To me, the most compelling is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In Luke 22:4, we read that Jesus “…withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed…” What followed was one of the most earnest prayers ever uttered, where we see our Savior’s emotional reaction to the task before him. A few verses later, Luke writes Jesus was “in agony” and sweated blood. The King of kings and Lord of lords was on his knees, desperate before his Father.
Brothers and sisters, if Jesus Christ was humble enough to bow in prayer, you and I ought to be as well. Getting on my knees helps me remember these two things:
- I desperately need God and his intervention every day
- I need to regularly humble my heart because of pride’s strong gravitational pull
I’ll admit, it’s not comfortable. The first few weeks gave me sore knees. I got acquainted with the floor and the things that live on it in new ways. I was also keenly aware of how awkward it looked on the rare occasion that a family member stumbled upon the sight of me. But if I’m honest, I could use a lot less comfort and a lot more spiritual desperation. I find that I pray more earnestly when I’m on my knees than when I’m comfortably seated on the sofa with my freshly ground coffee.
I know that for some this is physically challenging. For others, it seems like eye-rolling legalism. But I challenge you to take stock of the posture of both your body and your heart before the Lord. I don’t think any of the founding fathers of the church would regret a single second of the time they spent with Jesus on their knees.
Do You Need a Refresh?
Getting up early and changing my posture have helped me refresh my personal worship, but maybe they are not what you need. I don’t know where your personal worship needs attention. But, I’m willing to bet that you need more quiet and less noise, more prayer and less comfort. So, give these two things a try or seek the Lord for how you personally need to refresh your worship. You won’t regret it.