Although attending church every Sunday and being a part of your local church’s worship is essential, circumstances sometimes prevent us from being present. At some stage in our lives, we could not attend church on a Sunday morning, whether it be sickness, COVID, travel or work, or maybe you are a secret believer of Christ. Whatever the reason, it is understood, and we should not feel guilty about it. There should be no condemnation.
These situations should not keep us from God’s presence, and nothing should hinder us from worshipping Him. In an article written by Wendy Wang, ‘The Decline in Church Attendance in Covid America’, she states: “A recent poll by Pew Research Center shows that the U.S. Christian population has been declining steadily in the past decade. Today, 63% of Americans describe themselves as Christians, down from 75% just a decade ago. The share of Americans who identify with non-Christian faiths (6%) holds steady, but the share of secular Americans is up by ten percentage point from a decade ago.”
When we look at these statics, one may feel afraid of what the church will look like in the near future. While going to church is critical for our spiritual growth, what happens to our spirits when we cannot attend church? Do we sit back and watch soccer or use the time to catch up on laundry? If the church becomes extinct over the centuries, will Jesus still be alive in us?
Therefore, on the days you cannot go to church, do not stop serving God. Do not allow condemnation and guilt to keep you from reading His word and worshipping Him. Keep the passion you in your heart for God constantly burning. There is no attendance book of record in heaven for the number of times you attend church, but there is a Lamb’s Book of Life. That is the book you want your name to be in.
“The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
What will Jesus say?
The Silent Days of Jesus
In the book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we read of the birth of Jesus, Jesus’ miracles, as well as the death of Jesus, but there is no mention of the significant period of Jesus’ life. At age 12, Jesus was in the temple, astounding the teachers with His knowledge, and then there was a period of silence until He was 30 years old. There is no record in the Bible of what Jesus was doing up until that point.
Where was Jesus? Was He learning a trade from His earthly father, Joseph? Was Jesus meditating, praying, or spending time in the wilderness? Whatever occupied Jesus, I do not believe that He was idle. When He did make Himself public, the people around Him marvelled.
Mark 6:1-3 says, “When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. ‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon?’ “
We are the Temple of God
So, on the days you cannot get to church, remember that you are God’s temple and God is omnipresent, and you can worship Him anywhere. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
Do not let the devil rob you; use this personal time to draw closer to God.
Why is personal time in worship good for you?
- Spending time alone with God is like a breath of fresh air. It clears and renews your mind.
- You are not distracted by other congregation members. Therefore, you can stay focused on some one-on-one time with God.
- During this personal time with God, you learn that your worship is ONLY to Him. He is your audience of ONE. No one else matters.
- You are free to sing, dance, and fall on your face without feeling self-conscience (especially if you are a shy and withdrawn person).
- There is no time restriction; you have all the time to allow the Holy Spirit to work freely in you.
- When God sees you praying in secret, He rewards you.
Mathew 6:6: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
So, let’s get started.
Here are 9 ways to worship God when you cannot attend church:
1. Start with Thanksgiving
Psalms 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
When you start your devotions to God, it’s scriptural to begin with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is thanking Jesus for all that He has done for you. Start like this: “Thank you, Lord, for saving and healing me. You have blessed me, and I am so grateful unto You. Thank you for the home I live in.”
2. Praise Him
What is Praise? Praise is an outward celebratory expression of gratitude through song, dance or lifting your hands. If you are not privileged to play a musical instrument, then play music and sing along, and if you cannot do that, then sing, and if you cannot sing, then speak words of praise.
Try this – say to the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I love you, and I praise you today for all that you have done for me. I praise you because you are the King of Kings and the Lord of my life. My heart belongs purely to you. All that I am is because of You. I adore You; I love You; You are my beginning and end. In You, I live and move and have my being.”
You can find a tune and sing or speak these words. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
4. Do not just browse; Read and Study the Word of God
Many find reading only the book of Psalms or Proverbs more straightforward, but today I challenge you to read the other books in the Bible.
Here is an example of how the Bible can become more relevant for your day-to-day challenges.
Ask yourself what aspect of your life you need God to help you with. For example, if you are struggling to find ‘joy’, research the word ‘joy’ using an online Bible dictionary or the search option on your Bible app; read through all the scriptures that pop up with the word ‘joy’. Write them down, and then create a mind map of your thoughts and revelations.
5. Be still and meditate on what you wrote
Take your notes and ask God to show you ways that you can change. Ask Him to help you improve on your weaknesses. His word judges our thoughts and attitudes.
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
6. Journal what you feel
During your alone time with God, He will give you insights into things that were unknown to you. He will provide you with a strategy and plans. His thoughts will become ‘real’ to you (Psalms 139). Write these thoughts down.
7. Pray on it
When God’s word becomes alive in you, it will quicken you to pray. Pray repentance, pray positivity, and break free from every bondage that holds you captive.
8. Confess your sins and take Holy Communion alone or with your family
You can set up Holy Communion with a cup of grape juice/water and a small piece of bread. Bless it unto the Lord according to 1 Corinthians 11:26 which says, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after supper, he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
9. Call a friend and share your testimony
We share our testimonies or stories when we speak of what God has done in our lives. The Bible says that we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelations 12:11).
Mark 5:19 says, “…Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Get victory by sharing your testimony!
Today I pray that whatever situation prevents you from spending time in the house of the Lord may be changed in Jesus’ name. Amen!