This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE


VICKY PHOTOWow, what an amazing evening we had together on Monday 27th March. We ate fabulous fish and chips and shared our lives together.

Over food at different tables we discussed the area of spiritual discipline we struggle with most: we had 1. Prayer 2.  Worship 3.  Bible study 4. Serving Others. This was a great time of discussing the challenges we face and getting to know people better to deepen fellowship.

Once the tables were cleared we joined all together to share and gain encouragement.

Each table fed back the things they had been discussion and then the rest of the group offered up encouragement. To bring it all together one lady brought us her personal reflections on the topic.

Challenges which were common to all areas were lack of time and getting distracted by work/family/anxieties/the world.

The main encouragement for all areas was remembering who we do it for; our amazing God who so loved us He sent his Son for us.

  1. Worship

The challenges were:

  • Singing out of tune
  • Songs being repetitive or too loud
  • Focus being on worship leader not God (Not our church)
  • It is hard to worship when you are in a difficult place personally.
  • Differences of worshipping alone or with others.
  • Not understanding what the song means so not fully being able to join in
  • Hard to connect to God if feeling unworthy.

The Encouragements to worship are:

  • nature which inspires many peoples worshipping
  • Realising that God requires a joyful noise not pitch perfect singing.
  • Focusing on who God is and it being all about God
  • It is just about being with God not always doing something
  • Worship can be up lifting and change you and your thinking and feelings
  • Reflecting on what Jesus has done for you and how much be loves you.
  • Thinking about singing old hymns and joining with the saints singing these songs for hundreds of years
  • It can make the heart soft before God
  • Prepares and focuses the mind to hear from God
  • Most of our songs contain direct quotes from scripture so it is a fabulous way to learn scripture and remember the great truths

Anne then shared about what worship means to her.

She reminded us we sing to an audience of one. It can be done at any time in the car, whilst going to school gates or doing daily chores. Sing over your washing up! God wants joyful songs! It doesn’t matter what you sound like to others and He hears it as joyful.

She pointed out it is a two way process. God sings over us:

Zephaniah 3:17

“The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you;in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with SINGING”

Finally she encouraged us with scripture which we read from various translations, my favourite being:

Ephesians 5 18-20 (the message)

“Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him, Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.”

I will give the rest of the feedback from this amazing night hopefully in coming weeks.

So sisters, if there was anything you wanted to discuss further send me a comment or email or grab me on Sunday.

Standing shoulder to shoulder,