On Sundays we gather together with fellow believers and—in most churches—begin our service with “praise and worship.” This section of the service is usually dedicated to singing songs to and about God, sometimes with prayer mixed in. After the sermon we leave, return to our homes and our jobs, and return to “worship” on the following Sunday. For many Christians, worship is that 20-minute span of time in which they sing songs about God—nothing more.
This could not be further from the truth about what worship really means. Worship is not about singing songs; rather, worship is a lifestyle. Webster’s dictionary defines it as “honor with extravagant love and extreme submission.” But what does that look like in everyday life?
Worship is an attitude of our hearts. It’s how we interact with God, how we view His character and how we respond to His compassion. You don’t have to sing in order to accomplish this (though singing is one way to worship). Here are three ways to worship God daily and strengthen your relationship with Him.
Turn Worries Into Prayer
Perhaps you struggle to find time to pray. But do you have time to worry? Prayers are worries turned over to God! Instead of rehashing your circumstances over and over again, turn each worry into a prayer. Any time you are tempted by anxiety, choose to trust God by involving Him in your situation.
Trust is an action, not a state of being. Each time you confront anxiety and fear by bringing Christ into the situation, you’re putting faith in His goodness and ability. That is an act of worship: attributing worth to the glory of God.
Fill Your Mind With His Attributes
We only have so much time in each day, and we choose what fills it. Rather than filling your work commute with secular music, your study break with the latest TV series and your evenings with video games or magazines, use a few of these times to fill your mind with Christ.
If you’re struggling with sin—boundaries with your boyfriend, rebellion against your parents, laziness, lying or anger—take a look at what is filling your mind. Is every spare moment being filled with “harmless” media? While these things are indeed available and you’re free to use them, you need to ask yourself if they are benefiting your walk with God.
Several years ago I noticed that reading fiction was putting my mind in a negative, lustful place. Many fiction books that are written for women contain sexual content that does not honor God or keep us, His daughters, on a pure mental path. I gave up fiction for seven years before I decided I was able to read it again in moderation. In place of those books, I filled my mind with music, books and study materials that fixed my eyes on Christ. In that time my spiritual walk with God deepened by leaps and bounds—and it wouldn’t have happened if I’d spent my mental energy on reading those novels.
Do whatever is necessary to fill your mind with Christ—whether it’s stopping something completely or just cutting back. This opens your mind to talk to God, to listen for His answers and to relate to Him the way He wants to relate to you. He is your Counselor and your Friend, and He’s just waiting for you to take the time to hear Him.
Turn Complaints to Adoration
Complaining is a hard habit to break! We tend to think complaining is a “safe” sin. It doesn’t hurt anyone, and it’s not really complaining…it’s just venting. Right?
God doesn’t view it that way. When we complain, we’re saying, “God, you aren’t big enough, gracious enough or trustworthy enough to help me with this situation.” This is exactly what the Israelites did, with dire consequences (Exodus 16). Science has even proven that “venting” doesn’t actually fix anything—instead, it ingrains negative thought patterns into your brain and actually heightens negative emotions. Complaining doesn’t help you and it certainly doesn’t help your listeners!
Turn complaints into adoration. This will take practice, but the Christian life is not natural or easy—it takes discipline! So train yourself to change your impulse to complain into an opportunity to adore Christ. What has He done for you lately? How does His character bless you? What did He do for you through the gospel? Remind yourselves of these truths. This is your everyday worship.