Deepening Your Worship During Covid
Our usual ways of connecting with God in community have changed dramatically in this Covid season.
It can seem almost impossible to feel that sense of close community in worship--of coming together as the body of Christ--when we’re having to worship in masks, stand six feet apart, and pass up on hugs and prayers together. It’s even harder if you have to worship remotely.
How are you doing with that?
Has it been hard to feel close to God in this season?
Honestly? For me? It’s changed week to week. Some weeks, I’m discouraged and badly miss getting to celebrate and learn about God in my church community without all of the limitations. Although I have been deeply blessed by my church’s efforts (remotely and in person), I confess that during some virtual services, I felt detached and not close to God at all.
Other weeks, I discovered sweet opportunities and precious closeness to God that I would not have found any other way. I still miss normal church so much...but Covid forced me to look for new ways to invite God into my life.
Here are a few things that have blessed my walk with Him in this Covid season:
You don’t have to have a church service--or even grape juice and bread--to take Communion! Use whatever liquid/foods you have on hand to symbolize Jesus’s sacred sacrifice and gift of eternal life.
For me, weekly communion time at home with my husband has been a huge growing experience in connecting with the heart of what Communion is about. It often felt so formal and serious at church that I missed out on the opportunity to truly get still, to recognize Him as the Bread of Life, and to give thanks for who He is and how He has made me new in Him.
I am learning to recognize that God has deep joy in seeing His sons and daughters thank Him in this way, regardless of the props that are available to them. He’s after my heart more than anything else!
Tips for at-home Communion:
Quiet Space: Set aside a few minutes to get still. Try to find a quiet environment free of distractions. Close your email, silence your phone, kneel--whatever will be most helpful in making this space about Jesus.
Find a guide online: You can find prayers, verses, and songs often used in services during Communion.
Pray: Bless the taking of Communion out loud (if with others). Then, reflect individually and pray silently. Or, continue to pray together out loud as you feel the Holy Spirit moving you to give thanks, praise, or confession.
Invite others: Take Communion with friends--virtually or socially distanced! You can do this on your friend’s porch (just bring your own “bread”/”wine”), over Skype, via phone, or even just set a time of day when you know you will each stop to take Communion.
A couple of weeks into Covid, and my husband and I were just not feeling joy or the Holy Spirit during virtual worship. We decided to hold our own “service” together with worship songs we loved.
As we began to sing, I felt flooded with joy and freedom in Jesus and in getting to be there worshiping with my husband. I lifted up my arms, swayed, and belted out the lyrics.
I don’t do that. Ever.
And what’s more? My husband--who is more reserved than I am at church worship--had to smile at my sheer joy--and He even joined in (more quietly)! We were surrendered and dancing together for Jesus.
Although we missed singing as a church body...we discovered that at-home worship can allow for a far more intimate, joyful, and surrendered worshiping of Jesus than we'd get to experience in a public setting.
Tips for exploring at-home worship:
Designate time & space: At home, it can be easy to lump church time in with the list of things to do. You don’t want worship to feel rushed or like it’s an obligation. Set aside special time, space, and focus just for Worship. Turn off all other devices and set aside distractions so you can truly celebrate God.
Readiness: Come to worship ready to set your full mind and heart on Jesus. Read what the Word says about worship.
Pray: Ask God to help you set aside distractions and fully engage with Him. Ask Him to help you glorify Him and receive His presence, and to be renewed by this special time with Him.
Stand: We are so much more engaged when we stand up to worship.
Engage more than your voice: Dress up, go in your pajamas, light candles, dance, jump, lift your arms up, clap. You are celebrating your Lord and Savior! If your heart is full of joy in Him, then all of this is an act of worship.
"Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!"
Worship spontaneously: You can worship at all times and in all things. On your way to work? Dreading a chore? Feeling drained? Struggling to fall asleep? Try doing a worship song.
Invite others: Worship with your friends and family via Zoom or phone, at the park, or in your backyard.
Two Final tips!
God’s Gifts: Connect with God through your hobbies and/or the gifts He has placed in your life. The pleasure you feel in baking, in long walks, music, art, tennis, sunsets--all of that was created by Him, and He loves to watch you delight in His gifts. Take these joys as an opportunity to give Him praise!
Prayer Meetings: Call a friend to pray together, or send a text with your prayers over a family member. Host a Zoom prayer time to catch up with and pray over your life group or friends.
Join the Conversation:
What is helping you stay close to God during this season?