Becoming a Woman of Worship and Prayer {#MissionWomanhood}

 

What is worship?

www.lydiaglick.com #missionwomanhoodDefinition of “WORSHIP”, taken from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.

Thou shalt worship no other God. Exodus 34:14.

2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.

3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; as a lover.

We all worship something (or elevate the importance of some one or something, and hold it in high regard). We were created to worship, and it’s something that comes naturally to us. Most girls and women worship celebrities, beauty, relationships, expectations, ideals, ourselves, education, career, security, money, social status, fashion, boys & men, and even family to some degree. We begin to worship something when we set our attention on it often, and it begins to become the primary affection and focus of our lives.

The problem with placing too much importance in any of the above mentioned things is that they can never satisfy the deepest longings of your soul. Although many of these things are important and even wonderful, at some point every one of them will never fail to disappoint you, and let you down. Although they may give you temporary feelings of happiness, in and of themselves they will never bring you complete joy.

The only place you will find the kind of joy that stands the tests of time, difficult circumstances, change, and even persecution, is worshipping God.

Some things to think about:

  • Do you believe in God?
  • Do you have a relationship with God?
  • How can you worship a God you don’t know?
  • How can you know a God you never talk to?

If you believe in God, you will have a desire to know God. And as you learn to know God, you can’t help but worship him. When you continually talk to God (pray), you will begin to know Him more and more. And it will result in more intimate and powerful prayers and more beautiful and meaningful worship of Jesus.

Learning to worship and pray to God:

Becoming a woman of prayer and worship doesn’t mean you must become a nun, be the best and loudest singer at church on Sunday mornings, or say specific prayers over and over again. It simply requires a conscious effort to make both worship and prayer a part of your normal, everyday rhythms.

If you want to know God you need to talk to him. That’s called prayer. When you know more about God, you will be amazed by who He is, and what He’s done. Acknowledging those things is called worship.

Make worship and prayer part of everything. Start your day with prayer. End your day with prayer. And pray for everything in between. Worship God while you are lying in your bed, by singing a song right then and there, or bursting into song while you’re cleaning your room, washing the dishes or driving down the road with your family. You can even whistle a tune to Jesus while you’re grocery shopping!

Worship and prayer are as simple as whispering “Thank you, Jesus”, when you see a blessing He has given to you, or remember something He has done for you, and “God, please help me” when you need Him in any circumstance throughout the day or night.

Pray and worship alone, with your family, and with your friends. What if you don’t feel like it? What if it feels awkward? What if you don’t sound like a pastor, or worship leader? Pray and worship anyway! Just as anything else in life, it becomes more natural and less intimidating when we practice it often.

Step out and be the one who initiates prayer at home, when you’re with your friends, when you’re at school and even while you’re out in public places like the mall. Be known as the girl who prays! Be known as the woman who worships Jesus with every part of her life! Let worship and prayer become part of your identity.

Things that have helped me most, in learning how to worship and pray:

  • Reading the Psalms in my Bible.
  • Spending countless hours of time with friends in the prayer room who know how to pray and worship, and have taught me how to do the same, and studying the lives of those who worship and pray.
  • Using The Lord’s Prayer as a guide for my prayers. (As you say the Lord’s Prayer, pause after each portion and personalize it.)
  • Worshipping God through His Word. (Use passages in the Bible that talk about God, read those verses aloud and pray them back to God – adding your own worshipful words to them.
  • Using prayers in the Bible as a starting place for your own prayers. (Click here for a resource I use.)
  • Setting aside time in the day to worship and adore God, not asking Him for anything, simply meditating on who He is, and what He has done – and then thanking Him and praising Him.
  • Setting aside time in the day to pray and intercede for others, and keeping a prayer journal to help me remember who to pray for, and record answers to specific prayers.
  • Listening to praise and worship music.
  • Reading books about worship and prayer, and learning all I can about the subject.

You can tell what someone worships by the way they live their life and the things they talk about. You can tell who someone regularly talks to, by the words that come out of their mouth and their actions that follow. My desire for you daughter, is that you will be a worshipper of our beloved Jesus, and a woman who knows and talks to her God. And in turn that your worship and prayer overflow into every crevice of your life, making each moment a beautiful offering to Him, the One who is forever worthy of all your affection, who will always be faithful and true, and the One who loves you more than you can ever imagine.

 

Learn to Love God’s Word {#MissionWomanhood}

 

Dear daughter of mine,

There is one thing you can do that will make a more significant impact in your life as a woman than anything else in the world:

Read and learn to love God’s Word. There’s no greater treasure that’s been given to you than your Bible. It is God’s letter to you. When you read it you will begin to understand His indescribable love for you. It is God’s life manual for you. When you read His words, He will open the eyes of your heart to the perfect plan He has lovingly designed for your life.

If you spend time in church and around Christians you’ll hear much talk about reading and studying your Bible. It’s a large book so it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about where to begin. Please don’t let the thousands of bible studies, reading methods, devotional books, online bibles, bible apps on your phone, audio bibles and every other imaginable bible resource keep you doing this simple, simple thing:

Pick up your Bible, open the pages and read it. Every. Single. Day. 

Why? God’s Word is the single most important thing that will sustain you through every minute, day, year and season of your life. His Word will give you light and comfort when you walk through dark valleys, sustain you in the hardest times, teach you what to do in every possible life circumstance, give you wisdom for the most complex situations imaginable, show you how to follow Jesus, and (most importantly) your bible will help you learn to know and love God.

As time goes on I know that you will have access to many wonderful resources that will help study your bible, and I encourage you to use them. But for now, I simply want to share with you five primary ways I’ve grown familiar with God’s word over the years. These are things that have helped me learn to love and know God’s word, and I know they will help you to do the same.

  • Follow a one-year reading plan for your Bible. You can purchase a “One Year Bible” which makes it very simple to read through your bible in a year’s time, or you can follow a printed plan and use the bible you already own. Either way, this is an excellent way to become familiar with God’s word, and it will help you develop the habit and discipline of reading it every day. Decide on a time that works well for you, and stick with it. Read your bible every day, and don’t feel guilty when you miss a day. Just start back up again, right where you left off.
  • Read through the Psalms and Proverbs monthly. This is my personal favorite! There are 150 chapters in the book of Psalms and 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, so it is very simple to read through the entire book of Psalms and Proverbs every month. Here’s how it’s done: On the first day of the month, read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91 and 121. On the second day Psalm 2, 32, 62, 92 and 122 – and so on. When a month has thirty-one days, read the longest Psalm: chapter 119, on the 31st. And as for the book of Proverbs: read Proverbs 1 on the first day, 2 on the second day, and so on.
  • Write in your bible. As you read the Word, underline, highlight and/or circle words, verses and passages that stand out to you. If a question or revelation about something you’re reading comes to mind, make note of it in the margin of your bible. Take your bible with you to church and do the same thing while you’re following along your pastor’s teaching. Also be sure to write the date beside the main passage your pastor is preaching from, so that if you ever want to access the podcast of that sermon you can find it easily. As you continue to read through your Bible over the years, you will treasure the notes you left for yourself!
  • Pray before you read your bible. Here’s a simple prayer from John Piper that will help you prepare your heart as you read God’s word. You can write in the front of your bible to help you remember it:

Incline my heart to you, not to prideful gain or any false motive.
Open my eyes to behold wonderful things in your Word.
Unite my heart to fear your name.
Satisfy me with your steadfast love.

  • Write down verses that are special to you. As you read through your bible on a regular basis you will come across verses that make an impression on your heart. When this happens, don’t let that verse fall to the wayside never to be remembered again. Do one of two things: Keep a journal where you write these special verses down, or keep a little box with index cards handy, and write each of these verses on a card (with the date), and put it in the box. Over the years, this special, personal collection of verses will become one of your greatest treasures, and you can pull it out and read through the verses any time you need encouragement.

Remember there are people in other areas of the world who don’t have the privilege of having a Bible. Never take reading it for granted. It is a precious gift in your hands. Don’t complain about not feeling, knowing or hearing God if you’re not willing to read His word. It may seem boring, ancient, and dry at first, but as you make time to read it, you will grow to understand that it is so much more than just words on a page. God’s word is alive and active and when you spend time in the pages, and meditate on the words inside, I promise it will change your life.

I love you,

Mama

~ Justina Dee

References:

John Piper’s Letter to a 13-Year Old Asking How to Go Deeper in Bible Study

Daily Bible Reading Plan via Desiring God & ESV.org

 

 

Seek God First {#missionwomanhood}

One Thing #lydiaglick #missionwomanhood

Daughters of mine,

Womanhood is a vast adventure and there are countless opinions and ideas about what it means to be a woman. I want to teach you some of the lessons I’ve learned and things I’ve come to understand. I’ve learned these lessons through watching women I admire and strive to emulate, through painful mistakes, misplaced hopes & dreams, and the school of life. Most of all I’ve learned them as a result of my relationship with Christ.

That is why we’re beginning our “40 Lessons in Womanhood” with this: SEEK GOD FIRST. It’s the most important thing you will do in your entire life. Everything else pales in comparison to the joy and fulfillment of knowing God.

When your deepest and primary desire is to know and see Jesus, the path for your life will fall into place. Knowing God doesn’t mean your circumstances will be easy, but a relationship with Him will result in a life that is meaningful, and brings about the beautiful and purposeful destiny that God designed for you.

As a daughter of God, you must decide that the one thing you will place ahead of anything else in your life is to seek after God and live in His presence. Of course we know that God is everywhere. And He promises that He is always with us. But to know His beauty and His matchless love in a tangible way, we must continually set our mind, heart and affections on God.

So, how does a girl go about seeking after God? Here are three ways to begin: (these three steps are modifications from a John Piper article referenced below.)

1. First, you must make a conscious choice to seek Him, and set your mind on Him – as you read your Bible, spend time with other people who reflect His character, and as you enjoy the beauty of His creation.

2. Next, you must avoid things that dull your sensitivity to hearing, seeing, understanding and knowing God. Start your morning with prayer, and during that time ask God to open your eyes and reveal himself to you. Continue with that heart as you go about your day. If there are things that cause you to feel distant from God, RUN from them!

3. Pride is a massive roadblock in our lives, and causes us to turn away from God instead of seeking after Him. When you feel yourself reaching a position of not needing or wanting God to be involved in any area of your life you can be sure you are not walking in humility. Ask God to change your heart.

In closing, here’s a quote that I love very much. Please carry this with you for the rest of your life:

The great promise to those who seek the Lord is that he will be found. “If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chronicles 28:9). And when he is found, there is great reward. “Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). God himself is our greatest reward. And when we have him, we have everything. Therefore, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” ~ John Piper

As your mother, my deepest longing is that you will seek after and know Jesus. There is no greater treasure to me, or measure of successful womanhood, than seeing you walk in the knowledge and fullness of His immeasurable love for you.

Verses to meditate on:

Chronicles 22:19a”Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God” 1 Chronicles 22:19a

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

Related Song: 

Cory Asbury, My Beloved 

References: 

My main source of reference for this post is this incredible, beautifully written article: John Piper’s “What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord”. Please take time to read it, I know it will encourage you! 

Read more about the #MissionWomanhood series here