Last Sunday was an incredible day of worship at our church! The music, fellowship, serving, and community that took place was simply awesome to witness.
I’ve had several people comment about how the Spirit of God was overwhelmingly present. The Scripture says that even when two people gather together in the name of Jesus he is with us (Matthew 18:20).
So, why does it feel as though God’s presence is more impressive on some days than others?
Jesus said, “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
It’s my belief that God’s presence is most impressive when our hearts are most receptive.
Sunday, we sang a song with these words: “Holy Spirit you are welcome here.” As we sang together, we were inviting the presence of God to be welcome here. ”
- Here is not the physical location.
- Here is not Carver Elementary (where the church meets).
- Here is not the cafeteria.
Welcoming God’s presence here is welcoming Him into our hearts. I’d like to offer six suggestions for preparing your heart for worship each and every Sunday!
1. Sunday worship begins with weekly worship.
Worshiping together publicly on Sunday should be an overflow of our worship privately. I’m going to argue that your worship may be a little anemic if you’re only engaged in praising God for an hour on Sunday.
I also believe our level of worship directly impacts our level of joy. Worshipful people are joyful people! If you need a prescription for a lack of joy in your life, start with a dose of worship each day and see how your heart begins to change.
2. Pray for your heart before worship.
I’m sure your house is nothing like this, but Sunday mornings can be a little hectic. Getting the family up, dressed, and ready for church can be a daunting task.
There’s nothing like pulling into the church parking lot while arguing with your three-year old about why she grabbed the wrong shoes!
Since worship is a heart issue, we need to pray for our hearts. Praying for your own heart is preparing your heart for worship. It focuses our attention off ourselves, and puts God in center view.
3. Listen to worship music on the way.
Whether you have a two-minute commute or a twenty-minute commute, listening to worship music on your way to church is preparing your heart to hear from God.
In my personal life, God often speaks in themes. Maybe there’s a song on the radio about God’s faithfulness, then we sing about God’s faithfulness in church.
These repetitive whispers from God make his message come loud and clear. We miss out on hearing from God when we don’t tune in frequently. God is speaking. Are you listening?
4. Remove distractions.
Distractions can be tangible like a cellphone or intangible like a worry or fear.
If you’re worried about how your voice sounds…stop it!! That’s a distraction.
If you’re concerned about how you’re dressed, why the new family is in your seat, or what kind of guitar the worship leader has…stop it! You’re distracted.
We have an adversary who will do everything he can to divert our attention. Prepare yourself by removing distractions.
5. Confess sin.
Sin is simply a barrier between us and God. It needs to be confessed if we truly desire to enter in the presence of God.
In fact, God takes sin so seriously, he tells us to leave our worship at the altar, first go and be reconciled with a person, then come back and worship (Matthew 5:24).
6. Pray Scripture.
God’s Word is powerful (Hebrews 1:3). The Psalms are full of songs that praise God, glorify his works and praise him for his faithfulness.
I dare you to read a Psalm on Sunday morning.
Hide his Word in your heart.
Meditate on it and reflect on the greatness of our God.
As you reflect on his greatness your mind will be blown away at his love, grace, mercy, compassion, faithfulness, sovereignty, creativeness, purposefulness, etc.
Worship then becomes the natural response to who God is.