Saturday, June 02, 2012

worship in private

In regard to private worship, Joe Thorn writes the following in Note to Self:

"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night." PSALM 63:1–2, 5–6

Dear Self,

Gathered worship may be the pinnacle of the week when God’s people worship out loud in public, but that gathering is fed by your ongoing private worship, which is much more than having a “quiet time.”

Focused devotional exercises are important, but your tendency is to think that such spiritual discipline is the totality of private worship. The truth is that the whole of your life should be an ongoing act of worship. If your meditation on Scripture, prayer, and seeking of God is limited to a thirty-minute quiet time, you will wind up having a romantic experience in the morning and an atheistic experience throughout the rest of the day when life gets real.It is a good thing to begin your day worshiping God in private through the intake of Scripture and the lifting up of prayer to God, but what begins your day should be carried throughout the remaining hours God gives you. Private worship is only valuable when you understand that it is not a thing you do in an hour, but the activity of the heart that exists in concentrated periods of devotional exercises and in the very ordinary moments of your days.

You should be connecting the needs, crises, and victories every day to spontaneous, if often inaudible, expressions of prayer and praise. You should be seeking God for wisdom and strength in the midst of your calling, whether that is in the home, at the office, or in the garage. The knowledge of God should lead you to experience the person of God where you are. You should be worshiping in private, and that includes time alone with God as well as working for his glory and pleasure in the vocational aspects of your life.

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