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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Inspired by . . . worship

Some of you may remember the book club I mentioned a few weeks ago. The book we're reading, The Yada Yada Prayer Group, by Neta Jackson, is about a multi-cultural prayer group, how it gets started, and how the group impacts {mainly} the main character of the book. 



One of the things I really liked about the book was the portrayal of the diversity of Christian worship. Most of the women attended different churches, had different ways they prayed and worshiped, and different comfort levels in doing so. 

Yet, they were all united in Christ.

From almost the first scene of the book, the main character was impacted by the style of worship at a Christian conference she attended with a friend. She was struck by the music itself, the worshiper's response, and the length of time spent worshiping, all of which were very different from her church experience. Ultimately, it was through the words of this style of music, a CD given to her by a member of Yada Yada, that God chose to speak to her heart, and she received a measure of His grace in a time of great need.

Most churches begin with a time of worship. The style of music, the nature of expression {raising of hands, or not, etc}, and the length of time spent in worship varies greatly from congregation to congregation.

But I wonder how often worship is a part of our personal "quiet" time spent with God. Up until a few weeks ago, I'm sorry to say it wasn't a part of mine.

But God is dong a new thing. I enJOY music, but it's never been a huge part of my life. As I've said before, quiet is my chocolate. But God is doing a new thing. He's changing the way I relate to Him, and to others. Breaking down barriers of tradition in my mind that have constrained brave thinking.

One of the women who shared during Jeanne Oliver's online course, Listening / Finding the Quiet shared a song by Lauren Daigle. Some of her words echo the longings of my heart. Words I've prayed, and sang back to God. Things surrendered, and proclaimed.

I've found that incorporating worship into the beginning of my quiet time is often the conduit I need to quiet and focus my spirit away from the chaos of life. 

Certainly, there is a need to, literally, sit quietly with God. But there is also a time to dance before Him, as David did, when our hearts are full to overflowing with praise.

This behavior feels awkward at times, I admit. This white-girl has about as much rhythm as a stick-bug. I'm not an overly demonstrative person, and come from a conservative church background, but there is something about praising God in song that calls to my spirit. 

[D]uring my first “quiet time” of the summer, it occurred to me that that was an odd phrase. “Quiet time.” That’s what they called it at church camp when I was a kid, what every pastor or teen group leader or Bible study I’d ever been part of had called it— that, or “personal devotions.” No wonder I had never included out-loud praises to God in my devotions, or turned up the music and danced. Jackson, Neta (2013-12-17). The Yada Yada Prayer Group: Book 1 (Yada Yada Series) (pp. 297-298). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 

Have you ever watched the Hasidic Jews sing the psalms? I can't understand a word they're saying - but it doesn't matter. My spirit is praising our Lord right along with them!

God is spirit, and we are to worship Him in spirit and truth. We should not feel as if we have to confine our worship to a particular style or tradition. I think, too, as we grow in our relationship with God our intentional time with Him, and the way we relate to Him changes.

As individuals we all have our own way of communing with God. As children of God, we can learn and grow from watching how others, from different church backgrounds, and different cultural backgrounds praise and worship the One true God.




Do you incorporate praise into 
your private time with God?

What style or expression of worship do you feel drawn to,
that you're not currently engaging in?

Shalom,



Sharing inspiration here:
Playdates with God, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, Weekend Whispers,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Still Saturday

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June