The 5: Refocusing on an often overlooked spiritual discipline: personal worship

When we think of spiritual disciplines, there’s one we often don’t consider: personal worship. We’re accustomed to corporate worship with our church family, but we sometimes neglect the practice of personal worship—and that is a problem. In fact, A.W. Tozer wrote, “If you do not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week.” Here are a few suggestions to help you focus more on personal daily worship:  


Plan time daily to listen to a favorite hymn or praise chorus—and sing along. 

That may seem like a basic approach to worship, but it’s a great way to turn our attention to God. Music and lyrics grab our hearts because we know the song well, and singing along will help drown out concerns that might be gripping our minds. I sometimes do this kind of worship where I can sing as loudly as I want without anyone hearing. 


Start the day with a ‘verse of the day’ in your inbox. 

Through a simple Google search, you can sign up for a free subscription and get a verse sent to your email each day. Look at the verse and read it again and again before you start checking other email. Let it sink in and praise the Lord for the way He guides us through His Word. Just a few minutes of meditating on the Word can provide powerful moments of worship. 


Send a quick email or text to someone about a prayer God has answered. 

When God intervenes in your life in a clear response to prayer, tell somebody. As you write the words about what the Lord has done, thank Him for His goodness. Rejoice that you get the privilege of telling somebody else about Him. Worshiping Him as you write about
Him can be sweet. 


Read Psalms 145-150 aloud. 

These psalms reverberate with worship and praise. It’s tough to read phrases and words like, “I will praise your name forever and ever,” “I will sing to the Lord as long as I live,” “Our Lord is great, vast in power,” “Praise Him,” and “Hallelujah!” without worshiping God. The few minutes you read the Word aloud might drive you to your knees in worship. 


Take 15 minutes next Sunday morning to read the Word and pray before you go worship with your congregation. 

Again, Tozer’s words are helpful to me: “You must prepare yourself to worship God.” Get up a few minutes earlier next Sunday morning, slow the pace down, and focus on God and His grace. Pray for your pastor. Ask God to make Himself known as you gather with others. Go with expectation of God’s blessings because you’ve already been with Him.

Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. For more from Lawless, visit

Dean of Doctoral Studies, Vice President of Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers
Chuck Lawless
Southeastern Seminary
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