About Private Worship — TAWG (Time Alone With God)
In private worship, we seek to nurture of our relationship with God through His Word and Prayer.
Just as your relationship with your spouse or close friend will grow more intimate as you spend time talking and listening to each other, so will your relationship with God. And just as your relationship with your spouse or close friend will suffer from neglect, so will your relationship with God.
The most important thing you can do is plan a set time you will spend time with Him each day. Be realistic. Don’t start with too much and set yourself up for failure.
Don’t beat yourself up when you miss. Satan is the accuser. If you have trusted in what Christ has done for you, God already sees you as perfect, so spending time with Him doesn’t make you look any better to Him. And when you miss, He doesn’t see you as damaged goods. Confess your sins and Jesus righteousness as part of your time with Him.
Some people find that getting up fifteen minutes or a half hour earlier works best. Others have their TAWG time while they eat lunch. Some like to spend time with Him before they go to bed. Some have said they treat their TAWG like medicine they have to take and commit each day that they will not go to sleep without spending at least some time both in His Word and in Prayer.
Whatever works for you, the important thing is having a plan.
Private worship is different from Bible study. It is possible to study the Bible as information, as literature, as history. Prayerful reading requires that we engage not only our minds, but our hearts and souls as well.
We pray before opening God’s Word, recognizing that it is a Book like no other, asking the Holy Spirit to open our eyes that we might receive wonderful things from His Word. Psalm 119:37
We pray as we read, thanking God for what we are learning about Him, asking Him questions about things we don’t understand, confessing our sin and weaknesses as His Word shines a light on His holiness and our sinfulness, and is a two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of both joints and marrow, of soul and spirit, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
We thank Him for Christ and how we see Him fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. Luke 24:27
If you need a Bible Reading Plan, click here.
When Jesus walked on the earth, He often slipped away to spend time in private prayer. If He, though God in the flesh, needed to pray, and understood that God uses prayer to accomplish His purposes, certainly He has set the example for us.
“It is sometimes forgotten that if the devil can tempt us to do evil, he can also tempt us not to do good. He can glamorize sin, but he can also paint an ugly picture in our minds of any work which is the will of God, including prayer.
“Quietly and undetectably, he can embitter the image of prayer in our minds until we unconsciously go out of our way to avoid it.
“The reason for this persistence on his part is obvious…:’Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.’
“As Paul says, ‘The weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but have divine power to destroy strongholds.’ 2 Cor 10:4
“The enemy of our souls is painfully aware of the destructive force of even our dullest and weakest prayers and will go to any length to block them.” Richard Lovelace
If you got a call from the president offering to do something for you— that he just wanted you to know that he was available for you, number one, if you’re like most people, you’d probably be very shocked and dumbfounded that THE PRESIDENT would stoop down to allow you that kind of privilege. You certainly wouldn’t put him off or make excuses or tell him I was sleepy…
The president is but dust. To dust he will return. God made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them. He made the president and gives to all men and women life and breath and all things.
And while in the OT only the great high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, God has now granted access to all who will come through Christ, our Great High Priest. He has made those of us who have trusted in Christ His priests, and our prayers are as incense before Him.
We have a privilege and a duty to pray—
Oh Holy Spirit, help us to pray. Help all of Your people to pray. Pour out a spirit of prayer among us, that we would look to You and not to ourselves as the One who works in the hearts and minds of people, who can change things, including us. Revive our hearts, please.
Tools to Aid in Prayer
- A Simple Way to Pray by Martin Luther (pdf download)
- Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship
- Valley of Vision: Collection of Puritan Prayers
- A Way to Pray by Matthew Henry