Thursday, August 26, 2010

Worship as a discipline (part 2)

Worship takes preparation. When the early Christians gathered together to worship God they were expecting something BIG to happen. They were expecting God to act on their behalf. Do you expect God to act when you gather with your community to worship? Here are some ways to prepare for worship during the week.

Learn to practice the presence of God during the week.
- Imagine He is right there with you in person.
- How would you live if He were right by your side 24/7?

Brother Lawrence, who wrote a book called Practicing the Presence of God, learned that because he experienced the presence of God in the kitchen, he knew he would meet God in the worship service as well.

Learn to praise God.
- The Psalms speak mostly about praising God. Read them. Memorize them. Use their language when you talk about God.
- Singing is a way to learn to praise. It can help us focus on Jesus.

Learn to really prepare for the worship gathering on Sunday morning.
- Prepare in a special way Saturday evening (prayer, bible reading, etc.).
- Develop an attitude of expectation for this time of gathering.
- Come early and seek God in prayer.
- Prayer for your pastors and SS teachers (God glory would surround them).
- Look around at people as they enter. Do they seem burdened? If so, lift them up in prayer.
- Think about this statement by Foster before a worship gathering, “If Jesus is our Leader, miracles should be expected to occur in worship. Healings, both inward and outward, will be the rule, not the exception. The book of Acts will not just be something we read about, but something we are experiencing.”

Of course there is much more about worship, but this is just some of what I’ve been chewing on since teaching on it a few weeks ago. The preparation for worship has been heavy on my mind. I’ve been evaluating how I prepare for the community worship time that takes place Sunday mornings. Here are some questions I’m asking/wrestling with:

- What are some ways I could better prepare for worship?
- What kind of things would take place during community worship time if I was prepared?
- What do I miss because I enter community worship time rushed and scatter-brained?

Any thoughts?

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