Last month’s Kingdom Fast was produced music. No music for the month. But if one did it right, there shouldn’t have been much silence. This fast was about using our own words to express praise to Jesus. Rather than turning to someone else’s words of praise to Jesus, we were encouraged to sing our own song to Jesus.

What I discovered about myself this month: I’m a lazy cheater.

At first, I sang songs that I could actually remember the words to (my brother-in-law will be pleased to know these were often hymns). But that felt like cheating. I was supposed to be expressing my own words.

So I turned inward to find my own words of praise to Jesus. That wasn’t so hard. I’m a writer. I string words together all the time—for a living. God made a career of it for me. But I found I just thought about them or wrote them down—I was too lazy (and/or self-conscious) to vocalize them.

Not good enough. So I took those words from my thoughts or my notes to sing them. Didn’t matter that no human being was in the same room listening to me—it was awkward at first. But after a few times, it wasn’t so much. It was sweet.

I usually start or end my abiding time by opening Spotify on one of my electrical devices and selecting one of several worship playlists that I’ve created to match my mood or a certain topic. By the end of this month, I discovered how meaningful it was to put my own “random” songs together. It’s another good practice to integrate into my all day abiding with Jesus.

I read this quote two days ago in Live Dead Joy (April 28) and it’s a good reminder to leave April with: “Let verbal praise be the punctuation of a life that continually magnifies the Lord—out loud!” When I express my praise out loud continually throughout the day, not only does it do my soul good, but others around me also hear the praise of Jesus.

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