I spent a lot of time in worship this week -- about 2 hours a day. I have to admit that I wasn't in the right frame of mind every time, mostly due to fatigue from manual labor in the sun. Also because my heart was a little hard, a little critical, toward a particular ... person.
But perhaps that is another post.
We sang a lot of great songs this week. One of them I have been google searching but cannot find it. It was familiar to me. All I can remember is, "Worthy .... You are Worthy ...." The tune is echoing between my ears, but the only lyrics that keep popping up are "Worthy ... You are Worthy."
And maybe that's all I need to remember.
I made a decision tonight. A commitment. I confess I don't know if I will be able to pull it off, but for the next 30 days, I'm going to focus on two things in my prayer life: worship and intercessory prayer.
For 30 days, I'm not going to pray about myself or for myself.
That's a big challenge for someone as self-absorbed as me, but I will give it a go.
I will need to put up several notes around my house -- on my screen, on my reading table, in my Bible, to remind me.
No one else is worthy of my praise, only God alone. The two great commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. John Wesley preached that love was the key to the Christian life. IF you love God and IF you love your neighbor, you will find it increasingly difficult to do and say and think things that do not reflect that love for God and neighbor.
I don't really need any help with loving myself, you know? But God and neighbor, yeah, plenty of room for growth there.
I've also decided I'm not going to give much thought to my shortcomings during this period. Sometimes my thoughts about where and how I continue to screw up occupy my mind too much. I won't say how, but I had it reiterated to me on several occasions this week that we forget that God is a God of joy and peace. God does not offer his mercy so that we will respond with, "Yes, Lord, I am pond scum, thank you for your mercy." OK, we are supposed to be humble and fully aware of our inability to save ourselves, fully aware of the extent to which we fall short of the glory of God, but He really isn't keeping a list on me. He's got to be more patient and forgiving than that, doesn't He? He really isn't sitting up in heaven saying, "How can you do that? I died for you! How could you say that? I died for you! How could you think that? I died for you! Lotta good it did!!" Now listen, I do not mean to sound flippant, blasphemous or careless in my understanding of Christ's sacrifice for me. I just had an "ah-hah" moment today that said, "Focus on God's goodness and push the perception of your 'badness' out of your head for a while."
So that's it, in a nutshell, I'm just going to focus on worship and love and watch and see what changes occur on other fronts in my life. It's an experiment, to be sure. Perhaps I will post about my progress in the weeks to come....
Worthy. You are worthy. And so for the next 30 days, I will be very diligent about telling you so, Lord.