(Photo by Selma Komisky)
How-To: Worshiping God When You’re Not At Church
By Jasmin Patterson
Worshipping God is a huge part of our faith, but did you know worship isn’t limited to music or to a weekly church service? God is everywhere, all the time. In fact, if you’re a follower of Jesus, He lives in you! We can (and should) worship Him in our daily lives. Here are six ideas you can use to worship God, even when you’re not at church.
1. Worship with music in your devotion time.
Turn on a worship song or playlist and sing along. Songs that are speaking to you currently, or your church has been singing, or you hear on your local Christian radio station are great options to choose from. You can clap, lift your hands, kneel, etc. to express praise to God, just like you do at church. Even if it’s just you and God alone in your room, He still hears you and receives your praise.
You could also make up your own song. This one will probably be especially fun for the musicians and singers, but you can do this even if music isn’t particularly your gift. Whatever is in your heart to say to God, try singing it to Him instead of simply speaking it. If you’re a musician, you could grab your instrument and accompany yourself as you sing.
2. Pray a psalm.
The book of Psalms in the Bible is full of songs of praise. You can open to one of them and pray them back to God verbatim or use the biblical language to help you form your own words. Along those same lines of making up your own song, you could also sing the psalm to God, using your own melody.
3. Make a thankfulness list.
A thankfulness list is as simple and straightforward as it sounds! You simply make a list of things you’re thankful for. We’re called to give thanks to God and praise His name (Psalm 100:4).
You can write out 5-10 things per day or per week that you’re grateful for. It could be anything from God’s forgiveness, to quality time with a friend, or beautiful weather. There are a ton of ways to turn thankfulness lists into creative/craft activities through journaling, painting, or drawing if you want to as well.
I’d encourage you to take it a step further, though. After you write things down, turn that list into a prayer of thanksgiving. Actually saying to God, “Thank You for___. This is why I’m grateful for it and why it meant so much to me.”
4. Connect with God on your commute.
You’ll find that most of the ideas we’ve been talking about are portable! So, make the most of transitional moments in your daily schedule. (Your commute to work/school or to run errands, time between classes or meetings, etc.). Just like you did in your devotion time, listen to a worship song or Christian radio and sing to God or try singing a verse from a Psalm that you’ve memorized.
If I have a few minutes between things on my schedule, I like to pause and pray the YouVersion Bible app’s verse of the day or a memory verse from my Bible reading that day. It’s a simple way to turn my attention to God and talk to Him amidst the busyness of life. Sometimes you might not be able to speak or sing audibly if you’re in a more public setting, but remember, you can pray and sing to God in your heart as well (Ephesians 5:19).
5. Get creative and enjoy God’s presence.
Write a poem. Dance. Draw a picture. Build something. Some people like walks in nature or cooking.
What are those activities for you that help you pull away from distractions and make your heart feel connected to God? Those are great ways to do a simple activity that refreshes you and, at the same time, acknowledge God’s presence and goodness in the simple things of life, and simply enjoy being with Him.
6. Represent Jesus.
If you read verses like Romans 12:1, 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17, you’ll learn that God wants our whole lives to be devoted to Him as an act of worship. When we live our lives to honor and represent God in everything we do and say, He is pleased. In your daily life, make sure that you’re obeying His commands and living as a witness of Jesus to people who don’t yet know Him.