“We have met the enemy and he is us!”
— Pogo, Walt Kelly’s cartoon character
Driving home after services I had to admit, “I just didn’t connect with the worship this morning.” We pulled up to a light and I continued. “The prayers seemed more like performances and the songs were so disjointed! On top of that, the sermon just didn’t seem relevant. I wonder why I even bothered to get up this morning.”
My sweet wife smiled that knowing-wife smile and chided me. “Maybe you were the problem. Did you take time to prepare for worship?” I sulked as I pulled away from the light and then had to admit, “You’re probably right. I hadn’t thought about that.”
So how do we prepare for the most important meeting of the week? Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful:
- Shift Gears. Early on in driver’s training, you learn to shift into a different gear when you start to climb a hill. Before we can truly worship God, we must take a moment to “shift gears” and center our thoughts on Him.
- Discover the Power of Gratitude. “Christians aren’t perfect – just forgiven.” As you are preparing for worship, take a moment to appreciate the gift of grace.
- Drop Your Inhibitions. A lot of people are afraid of their own voice. They are too self-conscious to sing. We have so many wonderful singers at Canyon View it can be tempting just to sit back and listen but the Lord loves a “joyful noise” and who are you to argue with God?
- Tap into the Fellowship. There is an energy in corporate worship. Have you felt it? It’s always there but sometimes our “receptors” are out of order. Reach out and tap into the power!
- Confession is Good for the Soul. Sin and guilt make it hard to worship. Confess your sins by name and feel the power of forgiveness.
- Be Filled with the Spirit. Paul told the Ephesians (and us) not to get drunk on wine “be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:19, 20).
- Finally, expect great things! What you receive from worship is equal to what you put into worship. If you expect the singing to be bad and the lesson to be boring, I suspect that’s what you’ll receive but if you come expecting great things I promise you’ll receive even more blessings that you anticipated.