Focus on Christ: Preparing to Worship.
We were created to worship God (Exodus 20:2-6; Psalm 29:1-11; 86:9-10; 99:1-9; 100:1-5; John 4:21-24; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 4:8-11). What an awesome privilege! With every privilege comes a responsibility. We must be intentional worshipers! Our God is worthy, and He deserves our best adoration, praise and worship. Since revived hearts desire to give Him the best, then we must be prepared to “enter into His gates” (Psalm 100:4) so we can be genuinely thankful and bless His holy name! Last Sunday’s blog post (Day 7) gave some tips on worship preparation for Sunday morning before arriving at church. Today, I want to share some ideas that will help you, your spouse and your family give God the best worship on Sunday by preparing on Saturday.
Practical Preparations [The purpose of the practical preparations is to limit distraction and decrease tension in the home, which often results in irritations and conflicts.]
1. Prepare Sunday’s meals. Have breakfast made and table set. Perhaps choose simple self-serve breakfasts such as muffins or fruit bread, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, etc. Avoid a high sugar, high carb meal that may lead to drowsiness. Prepare the noon meal as well.
2. Gas up the car
3. Pick out clothes and take care of needed ironing
4. Find Bibles (and shoes!) and lay them out
5. Set aside your offering (2 Cor. 9:7)
6. If you wear hearing aids put in fresh batteries.
7. Teachers: make final lesson preparations
8. Have children take baths
9. Get to bed early. Avoid late night Saturday activities as much as possible. Avoid television, video games, and fluffy books. Avoid anything that trivializes, or tends to put your mind in neutral. God’s thoughts are deep (Psalm 92:5).
Personal/Heart Preparations [The purpose of these personal preparations is to sensitize your heart and mind to meet the Lord in corporate worship. The goal is to go to bed with the Lord on your mind.]
1. Delight in the Word.
2. Read Psalm 32 or 51 and spend time in confession.
3. Read some Scripture about worship (E.g. Hebrews 12:18-29; Psalm 95-100).
4. For communion Sundays: read a Gospel account of the crucifixion; resolve interpersonal conflicts, seek forgiveness where needed (Matt. 5:23-24; 1 Cor. 11:23-34).
5. Read a chapter from a solid devotional-style book such as The Knowledge of the Holy (A.W. Tozer).
6. Devote yourself to prayer for tomorrow’s worship service and all participants: ushers and greeters, Scripture readers, musicians, choir, and songleader, preacher, nursery workers, Bible class teachers, visitors, unbelievers who may be present.
7. Bible teachers: pray for your students, other classes and fellow teachers.
8. Discipline your mind with song. Fill the house with worshipful music. Sing some hymns.
You know, the above suggestions can fit into the definition of fasting as you give up some things to remove the distractions. Just as we sing at Christmas, may our heart’s passion be, “O, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!” Looking forward to Sunday!!!
40 Days Goal of Prayer & Fasting: We want God to so revive and change us that we would both pray and act as the people of God for the glory of God!
(Hat tip to Paul Tautges for help with these ideas.)