Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Psalm 50:14 (NLT)
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Are you complacent to God’s holiness? We are quick to disagree, but sometimes the rhythms of daily routine can keep us performing rituals rather than acts of true worship. Psalm 50 is a good reminder that God wants a heart of thankfulness and praise over anything we could ever bring him.
Does your mouth ever sing lyrics of praise music without true worship? Do your prayers ever become rote and distant? Does your Bible ever remain as printed words rather than written on your heart? Do church and small groups ever become a place to just show up and leave? These are all symptoms of empty ritual, and God desires more for us. God desires to meet with us in these moments.
In our fast-paced world, we have to be extra vigilant not to rush our time with God. He is deserving of our full attention. Psalm 50:1 says, The LORD, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from where the sun rises to where it sets. The Lord calls to us each day, not because he is in need of something, but because our Mighty God loves us. Psalm 50 calls out God’s people who were diligent to bring animal sacrifices, but were only going through the motions. Jesus Christ paid the debt of our sin once and for all and today we live under the gift of grace, yet we can still fall into ritual over true worship.
This week as you read your Bible, try circling names of God and words that describe his character and action. Read the lyrics to praise and worship music and let your song become prayers of praise. As you pray try the ACTS method: Praise God for who he is (adoration). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of sin and let your heart break before him as you ask forgiveness and turn back to God (confession). Remember what God has done, is doing, and promises to do (thankfulness). Then bring your prayer requests to God (supplication). The prayer below has been written in this format based on Psalm 50 to get you started.
God desires his holiness for us, that we might experience the joy and peace that comes from walking in step with him. He wants our whole heart. When we find ourselves in absent ritual, it is time to make thankfulness our sacrifice to God. He is God and we are his people. Focusing on who HE is naturally moves us to hearts of praise and the ways that we practice worship will begin to fill with awe and humility as a result. Remembering our WHY always begins with remembering our WHO…true change always starts with Jesus.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, you are LORD, the Mighty One. Forgive me for the times I’ve made worship all about self and routine. Forgive any sacrifice of empty ritual I have placed before you. Thank you for your grace. Rekindle praise in my heart and remind me often of your character and promises. Swell my heart with thankfulness today. Grow my relationship with you deeply. Let anything I do for you reveal true love and devotion. In Jesus Name, Amen.