You can connect with God even while worshipping on your own
Worship is a huge part of the faith experience for believers, and having to abstain from corporate worship and fellowship has been a challenge that has proved hard to navigate over the last year.
Virtual experiences have tried to fill the gap but sometimes they miss the mark. People of faith long for community again, whenever the day is that it will return.
In the meantime, we have to continue to nurture our spiritual selves as spiritual health is just as important to our overall wellness. Here are some suggestions for connecting with God on your own:
The world has slowed down around us, but have we actually slowed down with it? Or is working from home and remote learning causing you to feel busy all the time? Slowing down mentally, pulling yourself away from the laptop, turning off the television and abstaining from social media are all ways to take a mental break and become more present in the moment. By doing this – quieting the noise around you and refocusing on what is going on within you – you are most likely to connect with God; to hear and feel God’s voice and presence.
Meditate or pray
Set aside time each day to commune with God on your own. Both meditation and prayer create opportunities to communicate with God and allow God to be revealed to you. Whether you repeat a Buddhist chant or recite the Lord’s Prayer, take some time to communicate with the God of your understanding. This communication is beneficial for your spiritual health, but it also helps you to take care of your mental health as well.
One of the most powerful ways to connect with the Creator is to spend time with creation. Go outside. Take walks. Explore the beautiful beaches and trails that are freely available to you. As you explore focus your thoughts on all the beauty that exists around you – how the birds sing for seemingly no reason, how the ocean ebbs and flows at it own pace and how trees intrinsically know how to grow. Remember that the same God that created all of this wonderment around us, created you, sustains you and cares for you too.
Practice radical gratitude
During a pandemic, it may be hard to practise gratitude. Radical gratitude is the art of giving thanks for everything good in our lives, even when there may be bad lurking around us. Making the decision to find joy in times that feel hopeless is an act of faith. You can express this gratitude for what is, even if things are not the way you would like them to be. Share this gratitude with family and friends. Post it on social media. Write it in a journal. Or simply sit and hold on to the thought.
Find music that awakens your spirit
Music can help you connect to the inner part of your soul. It takes us to places in the heart that spoken words sometimes cannot. The rhythms help to rebalance the body, mind, and spirit and the lyrics are often expressions of our deepest thoughts and feelings. You can go online and search for your favourite hymn or worship song and sing along. Release inhibition and allow the words to really connect with your spirit. Even the worst singer can have a praise and worship session in the shower that soothes the soul.
Read sacred texts
Set aside time to immerse yourself into the holy books – the Bible, the Koran, the Dao De Jing. Reacquaint yourself with the scriptures and the inspiration and insight they provide. Perhaps even take some time to learn about another faith and understand the interconnectedness of all beliefs.
As wonderful as church is and as beneficial as having a group of like-minded people to support you, spirituality is still deeply personal. It is completely possible, actually essential, to draw closer to God in isolation. These activities, these sacred moments, help to establish and maintain a genuine and intimate relationship with your Higher Power. These are the moments that define your spiritual journey.
True worship is fundamentally an experience that takes place in your heart. It is the feeling of connectedness to God and an expression of love, faith, trust, gratitude, and reverence. This can take place anytime and anywhere. You can design your experience with God in whatever way best suits you. I am certain that God will meet you where you are.