Lord’s Day worship occurs every Sunday. While worship can occur elsewhere, the assembly of the saints is a special and unique opportunity for Christians. But sometimes worship seems more like an obligation than a privilege. There are some things we can do to make worship more meaningful and far more powerful. Here are ten tips.
Prepare for Worship Personally
True worship can only exist within a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the Father was looking for people to worship him (John 4:23). God desires our worship but without some relationship with him there can be no true worship. It is probably useful to consider the strength and depth of your relationship with God. If you find it lacking, do not despair! God will draw near to you as you draw near to him (James 4:8).
David said, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1). An air of excitement should fill the Christian because he knows he is headed to meet his God. He looks forward to the fellow saints and their encouragement. He looks forward to, anticipates and expects to be filled with a grand spirit of worship before the Lord’s throne.
Jesus told the woman at the well that worship must be done in truth (John 4:24). By implication that means that worship can be done improperly or falsely. So it is important to seek a studied understanding of who, what and why we worship. Careful attention was demanded of worshipers in the Old Testament. In the New, God commands true worship and rebukes those who change or pervert it. The Corinthians were an excellent example of well meaning people who worshiped improperly. Paul corrected their errors. A better understanding of worship will help provide a greater worship environment.
Prepare for Worship Saturday
The decision to worship mustn’t wait until Sunday morning. There’s just too much to do. Make your decision to worship on Saturday so that you can rise Sunday morning with the intention to get ready and go to services. Some made a decision years ago to attend worship every Lord’s day and to the extent possible they have. But such a commitment begins with a single decision. Why not decide right now?
5. A Positive Evening Before
What happens on Saturday night rarely stays on Saturday night. Too late to bed, too much of a party, a lack of sleep all affect what we do the next day. We understand the principle of preparing the night before for what we will do the next day because we apply it all the time. We get in bed a little earlier Sunday night so we can get up and get to work Monday. No sleepovers during the week because the next day is a school. Take positive steps Saturday to prepare for Sunday.
Get in bed at a reasonable hour.
Gather Bibles, notepads, pens, pencils etc and place them in one place for easy access Sunday morning.
Check clothes for Sunday. If you have nice clothes wear them, if not wear what you have but prepare them Saturday night. It’s less to do Sunday morning.
Set an alarm if you need it.
A few quick tasks Saturday night will make Sunday morning so much smoother.
6. Good Rest
A good night of rest will go a very long way Sunday morning. It will help you rise quicker and more refreshed and you will be less likely to doze off during preaching! Lack of sleep makes us feel sluggish and sometimes a bit testy. As another benefit, if you go to bed and sleep well, you might decide to get up a little earlier on Sunday morning which prevents the mad rush to get out the door.
Prepare for Worship at the Church Building
You took 6 steps before arriving at the church building. It is now Sunday morning and the worship service is minutes away. It’s time to clear your mind and find that spot of calmness that we each have. At this point it no longer matters what else is happening in your life. This is your time with God. Allow the struggles of yesterday and the turmoil of tomorrow fade away as you approach the Lord. The Psalmist said that God was his rock and his fortress (Psalm 18:2), when we are with the Lord we are in a place of peace and calm.
We have come to this moment for one reason: to worship God. We will be uplifted by our brethren (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19) but we do not assemble to be entertained. This is God’s time and we seek to worship him “in truth” (John 4:24). It really doesn’t matter what is happening in the world, at work or even at home. You are with God now.
Some find it helpful to have a picture or image in their minds as they worship – something that speaks to the majesty of Jehovah. As we gather around the Lord’s table for communion you will possibly change that image to one of the suffering savior, suspended between heaven and earth, dying for you and for me. As you intently peer into the mind’s image, you are better able to focus upon the privilege at hand: the worship of God.
Now that you have settled before the throne of Almighty God, your spirit seeks his spirit. We seek perfect union with the Father through the Son. It was Jesus’ desire that we be one with our fellow Christians and one with the Father (John 17:20-26). Certainly in worship oneness and unity is desired.
As you sing and pray remember that you are singing and praying to God personally. As you listen to the Scripture being read, it is the very voice of God breathing out his thoughts to you (2 Timothy 3:16).
10. Be Resolved
As the service ends, know that God has spoken to you. He has spoken to you through his Word which was read into you hearing, he has spoken through faithful words of the preacher, he has spoken through the hymns and spiritual songs of your brethren. Now resolve to act on those words. Make a change. Improve your life. Enter the worship listening for encouragement and direction, leave resolved to be more Christlike.
Worship can be a powerful experience for good to the prepared, open-hearted participant. It is one of the few events that can be life changing. Do not attend worship to be entertained. Look for what you can put into your own worship. Any investment will be returned many times over.
I would be very interested to hear you thoughts on worship. Would you leave a comment? Please leave comments here on the blog and not on Facebook so all can profit by your thinking.