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Archive for the ‘Morning Worship’ Category

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16

Singing – it is one of my family’s favorite things to do. Whether we are having morning worship, picking up the house, cooking, playing outside, giving comfort after getting hurt, or riding in the car.

Singing is the third part of our morning worship routine. I would have to say this is my children’s favorite part of morning worship. We use one hymnal. Each child has their favorite songs and we pass the hymnal back and forth as they look up their favorites and then sing them. My 1 year old daughter can even look up her favorite hymns on her very own. It is so precious.

Sometimes we will just sit on the couch and sing. Other times we will gather around the piano and sing while I play. In the evening for family devotions my husband will sometimes pull out his guitar.

When teaching the hymns we do not just learn the first verse of each song. It is important our children learn the whole song. Most hymns tell a story or teach a complete thought or idea. Do not cheat your children by just teaching the first verse. Another part of singing hymns is teaching my children the history behind the hymn. There are many wonderful resources that you can use to teach the hymn history.

Our worship to the Lord needs to be honoring and glorying to Him. We are singing not for ourselves but to the Lord.  Our worship should not be wild and out of control. If our children are dancing around and goofing off they aren’t worshiping God – they are doing what feels good to them. Our worship should not feel dead either. If we are singing hymns that are more quiet and meditative then we need to sing them that way. But if the song is full of praise to the Lord we should not sing it like church mice. I plan to talk about this in a later post (the correct worship of Jesus Christ is something I am very passionate about).

Hymns can be chosen a variety of ways. I am focusing right now on teaching my children hymns of worship and praise. Here is a sample list of hymns we’ve learned so far:

  • To God Be the Glory
  • And Can It Be
  • Old Rugged Cross (Learned around Easter)
  • O How I Love Jesus
  • Trust and Obey
  • O Magnify the Lord
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • Holy, Holy, Holy
  • Rejoice the Lord is King
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God
  • Come Thou Fount
  • A Child of the King (Learned because 3 yr old son asked Jesus to be his Savior)

I believe our children need to learn the great hymns of the faith. These hymns will carry our children through the exciting and difficult times in life. As I have gone through difficult times I have often sat on the couch with my hymnal on my lap, singing songs to the Lord, allowing Him to minister to my heart through song. Having taught my children hymns from a young age, I often hear them singing hymns while they are playing. Instead of stupid little songs they learn off tv (which is one reason I don’t allow much tv) they are singing songs of praise to God. It brings such joy to my heart to hear the children praising the Lord while they are playing. They don’t always sing the whole song right – sometimes they even put a few songs together – but it is during those times I just sit back and smile at the goodness of God.

One example of this has happened lately. We have spent a lot of time learning “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”. The last line says, “the moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey”. My one year old daughter has been going around the house singing, “moon shine, moon shine, moon shine”.  At first I couldn’t figure out exactly what she was saying, but the more she sang it I got it. I had to just sit back and laugh and wonder what people would think if they heard my 1 year old talking about “moonshine”!!!! 🙂

A great book on worship is called “How to Worship Jesus Christ” by Joseph Carroll. It is a book I first read when I took a college music course in highschool. I have since read it a number of times, including during morning worship. Every Christian should read this book at least once. It would also be perfect for a Bible study at church.

http://www.amazon.com/Worship-Jesus-Christ-Joseph-Carroll/dp/080243424X

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“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.”

Psalm 86:15 NASB

“I will sing of the lovingkindess of the Lord forever; to all generations I will make know Your faithfulness with my mouth.”

Psalm 89:1 NASB

The dictionary definition of lovingkindness is “tenderness and consideration toward others”. About 10 years ago I was challenged each day to look for the lovingkindnesses of the Lord. To look for all the things the Lord had done for me. Ways He was showing me tenderness and consideration. It may be something as simple as I received a letter in the mail from a friend. Or it may be as big as my baby had a heart beat. I was to write down whatever it was that happened that day to remind me of the Lord’s love and care for me.

I am one who gets easily discouraged, especially when I’m tired (and I’m tired most of the time). I often can only see all the bad and how life is “falling apart” around me. Writing in my lovingkindness journal helps me remember and keep my focus on all that the Lord has done for me. I love looking back and seeing all of the lovingkindnesses the Lord has shown to me.

Because our child are little versions of us, my son especially has this problem. We have now added a time when we sit right after prayer, and write all the wonderful things God has done for us. Yesterday he was thankful for the trees, blue sky, grass, flowers, and the Bible. Those were the blessings the Lord gave him. It is fun to look back and see the different things the Lord has done for us. It is a great journal to keep. So in the difficult times, you can remember how gracious, loving and kind our God is.

We serve a God who loves us dearly. May we praise Him everyday for His goodness to us.

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“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV

Teaching your children to pray is one of the most important things you will ever teach your children to do. So many Christians do not know how to pray – and so they don’t.

What is prayer? Prayer is simply talking to God. It is how we communicate with God. When I pray I don’t talk to God like I would my children or a stranger. I share my heart with Him, as I do my husband. I pour my heart about before Him. Sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings. There are times when I don’t even know what to say and in those times,

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Romans 8:26 KJV

Sometimes I pray when I am working in the kitchen. Sometimes I pray when I teaching school or potty training. One of my favorite times to pray is in the middle of the night when I cannot go to sleep. When it is dark all around me and the only sound is that of my husband and children sleeping. I feel completely alone with God. In peace.

As an imperfect woman there are many things in my life I regret. But teaching my son how to pray is not one of them. My son (3 years old) is learning how to pray like a man. In the morning we start Morning Worship with prayer to get our hearts right before the Lord (confessing sin), to bless my husband at work, and provide for our daily bread, and to ask the Lord to take our offering of worship and make it pleasing unto Him. I often encourage my son to pray also. He will never learn HOW to pray unless he does.

On Wednesday evenings at church he stays with his father and I in the prayer service. My husband and I feel it is vital for our son to learn how to pray. When we look around the world today at Christians and we see how many of them do not pray, because they don’t feel they know how to pray, we see the importance of teaching our son. Our little 3 year old sits by his father and often the Pastor (or other older men in the church) and he is learning how to pray. He hears these older, wise men of faith praying to God, and he learns how to talk to the Lord. He then is given the opportunity to pray – like a man. Oh how precious his prayers are. Often my husband will share with me what our son has prayer and it will bring tears to my eyes the heart of our son. A heart that would never be like this – unless taught. On the way to Wednesday evening prayer service you will find him in the back seat of our car with his Bible, piece of paper, and a pen. He is making out his prayer list of all the things he wants to pray about. Now to me it is just scribbles but to Him it is his mission for that night.

So often we say, “Oh he’s just a child. He can learn that when he’s older. He needs to have fun time with kids his own age.” But when I look around I see teenagers all across this nation, who’s hearts are not close to the Lord. They don’t want to be in prayer service because “it’s not fun”. They don’t want to pray with the “old” people. They don’t even hardly come to church anymore. It should be a warning to all of us parents – we have a choice how we train our children. We will answer to God one day. Are we teaching our sons and daughters how to pray or are we letting them just hang out with the friends – hoping someday they’ll learn?

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Proverbs 13:20 NASB

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A couple of years ago the Lord prompted my heart to begin having what we call in our home, Morning Worship. When I first began this with Josiah (Annalynn had not yet been born), I did not realize the vast blessing that would come from this time together.

As I began sitting with Josiah each morning (he was just a year old) one of my main goals was to practice sitting each day, to help him sit through Church. I knew he was too young to understand what I was reading, but I also wanted him to begin to develop the habit of spending time with God every morning. I wanted him to develop a love and respect for God’s Word.

I have seen our Morning Worship time go from something that Josiah complained about having to do, to now something that he enjoys and will often ask to do. It has become a special time where Josiah and I talk about the things of the Lord and offer our worship to Him. Oh what a blessing when he shares spiritual insight!

There are days when I fail to start the day with Morning Worship. We’ll have breakfast, and I’ll start some laundry and then one thing leads to another and it’s 11:00 a.m. and life seems to have fallen apart. The kids attitudes are terrible. There is whining and fussing and I wonder – WHAT HAPPENED!!! It is then when it hits me like a load of bricks – we didn’t spend time with the Lord first thing.

When I start our family off with Morning Worship (before ANYTHING else is done in the house, even breakfast) it changes everything.

– Our day runs smoother

– The kids have good attitudes and they don’t fight as much

– My heart is right before the Lord (The other day I was feeling upset with my husband. I knew I needed to have MW with the children, and I just couldn’t bring myself to have MW with the kids until I had called my husband confessed my bad attitude and asked his forgiveness.)

– And there is just a sense of peace in the home

Here is what we do for our Morning Worship:

  • Prayer (We thank the Lord for the nights rest and ask Him to take our Worship as an offering of Praise to Him)
  • Lovingkindness journal (Writing down all the blessings and lovingkindnesses from the Lord)
  • Sing (My children LOVE to sing. I have been teaching Josiah many great hymns of the faith. We try to stick with songs of worship.)
  • Quote Scripture (Josiah has been memorizing Scripture since he could barley talk. Now Annalynn is doing the same. Though she can’t quite pronounce all the words correctly just giving her one word at a time. She gets really excited to quote Scriptures like her older bother.)
  • Catechism (I found a catechism that I mostly like. You must be careful. I have not found one that I agree doctrinally with 100%. I use one as a foundation and change the questions/answers as I need to)
  • Scripture Reading (I read through a book a time, going back and forth between Old and New Testament. I try to spend the majority of our Morning Worship reading the Bible. It is very easy to get caught up reading and doing everything else, but what is the MOST important part!)
  • Inspirational Reading (I choose a book that I like to read to the children. Sometimes it is about a missionary or other spiritually encouraging books.)

I hope this helps you get an idea of what we do for Morning Worship. There is no right or wrong way to have Morning Worship with your family. Over the next few days I will share with you specifics in these areas.

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