Most Sundays, there is an early-morning wake-up call for my husband to make his way to church. He tries to slip quietly out of bed, get dressed quickly, and help pack my son's diaper bag, because I will inevitably wake up later than I should. My husband helps lead our church congregation in worship, and it is a joy to see him use the gifts the Lord has given him to serve others. Since my husband needs to practice the songs before Sunday morning, I get to hear him prepare throughout the week. The music fills our home as he plays his guitar and sings, and sooner or later, we are humming those songs without even thinking about it! And by the grace of God, the lyrics fill our thoughts and hearts. We even talk about them at dinnertime or while running errands. As we sing these worship songs with our church family, they resonate deeply in our hearts, because of the time we have dedicated to them in the days prior.
This has caused me to realize that having an attitude and practice of worship is not only for Sunday morning; it is for every day of our lives. Worshiping all week leads to more meaningful worship as we gather to adore God with His people. And we can only adore God because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. As we see the Spirit move in other believers to help them adore God in worship, we will likely be overwhelmed with the reality of God's presence all around us in our church gatherings (1 Corinthians 6:19). These are the people with whom we will praise God forever in eternity, and as we prepare our hearts through the week thinking about this truth, we will be more excited to stand and worship with them and not so eager to sit back down in our seats.
Here is a wonderful quote from John Piper regarding worship:
"It could not be otherwise but that Christianity be a singing faith. The Founder sang. He learned to sing from His Father. Surely they have been singing together from all eternity... When He speaks, galaxies come into being. And when He sings for joy, more energy is released than exists in all the matter and motion of the universe. If He appointed song for us to release our heart's delight in Him, is this not because He also knows the joy of releasing His own heart's delight in song? We are a singing people because we are children of a singing God. "
While our lives have become a continual worship service to God as we offer ourselves to Him as "living sacrifices," audibly singing aloud to the Lord is a precious gift He has given us (Romans 12:1). We are made in the image of God, and just as God delights in singing over His children, we delight in singing praise to our Father (Zephaniah 3:17, Colossians 3:16, Psalm 100:1-2). He sings over us, and we sing in response to His goodness. What an incredible blessing! But what are practical ways to worship throughout the week? How does this happen in your life?
Learn Songs About Him
As we try to build a lifestyle of worship, we need a bank of songs available for us to sing. Many of these songs have already been recorded in our Bibles. We can turn to Psalms and sing some of the verses to the Lord. As they are actually the ancient songs of the Hebrew people, Jesus would have learned these psalms as a child, singing them throughout His life. Many of them even foreshadow His coming.
There are contemporary artists who have put many psalms to music to help the church sing them today. My favorite artist who has done this is the band, Shane and Shane. They have a beautiful album of a collection from Psalms put to music. After listening to their album over and over again, I have many words of Psalms committed to memory. Listening to this album has been a comfort to me in trying times. It is healing and good for God's people to sing His own Word back to Him.
Another way of learning songs about the Lord is reading, singing, and memorizing hymns. Hymns are songs of praise that usually have a particular rhythm or meter. There have been many hymns written throughout the history of the church, and they help us remember rich, theological truth about God. Their words have comforted Christians through the ages, and as we sing and learn them, we join with believers from past generations who also sang these very hymns. They connect the church across time.
A great place to begin learning hymns is a website and Instagram page called "Happy Hymnody," a community dedicated to helping families learn hymns together through lots of helpful resources that encourage the body of Christ in singing beautiful truths about God.
Praise Him in the Kitchen
Living a life of worship does not have to be just another thing on your to-do list. Living a life of worship means that the adoration of God is infused into every part of your life. As you wash the dishes, praise Him in the kitchen. As you go on a walk, play a worship song on your phone, and sing along. As you drive to the grocery store, listen to a hymn you are trying to learn. Sing to Him as you exercise. Sing to Him as you start your day. Enjoy worshiping the Lord, and let worship fill your moments with the remembrance that He is always with you, and He is yours forever.
Sing to Him in the Quiet
As you spend intentional time with the Lord–time that is set apart to be in His Word and prayer–try beginning or ending with a song of praise. Use this time to audibly sing to the Lord and praise Him by yourself. It may even be helpful to imagine being "seated in the heavenly places" with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). Though we do not see Him as we sing and pray and read our Bibles, He is with us. Singing to the Lord reminds us of our heavenly reality and our future hope!
You don't have to wait until Sunday morning to praise God. Worship Him all week!