Worship-Driven: How do you prepare for worship?

Worship is the motivation of the people of God.  It is the heartbeat of Christian community.  Worship is our life and the reason why God sets us free. (Ex. 3.12)

How do you prepare your soul to worship God?

I’m learning more and more that there is a direct link between my preparation for worship and my experience of God in worship.  When I think of the amount of preparation that went into offering a sacrifice in the Old Testament–raising and feeding the animal, catching it and taking it to the temple, confessing one’s sins and watching an innocent animal lose its’ life–I’m struck by how we are called to bring “a sacrifice of praise” to God. (Heb. 13.15)  Shouldn’t we put significant thought and preparation into our sacrifice too?

Let’s share best practices.  What do you do to prepare yourself for worship?  Do you go to bed early so you won’t be tired or get up early to spend time in scripture?  Do you fast before you worship?

I’ll go first.  Because I’m usually preaching God’s word during our worship services I usually listen to other pastors on my iPod so that I too am being transformed by the proclamation of God’s word.

One thought on “Worship-Driven: How do you prepare for worship?

  1. I like your application of OT sacrifice to today’s practice of worship. I also think the jewish practice of sabbath can be instructional. As the Jewish sabbath begins on Friday evening, but temple does not occur until Saturday morning, the Israelites had to prepare everything for sabbath the day before temple. The point being that they didn’t wait until they pulled into the parking lot to start thinking about worship. It was on their minds and part of their preparation for much of the previous day. So my family tries to prepare for Sunday worship in very explicit, yet simple ways. We try and focus our attention toward Sunday worship beginning at dinner time with reminders that tomorrow is church and what the Sunday school lesson will focus on. We all pick out our Sunday-go-to-meetin’ cloths after the meal. We hang them on our bed posts or door knob. We decide what we’ll eat for breakfast and make sure we have all the ingredients. We get our Bibles and Sunday school books out and into our church bag. Then we try to further focus our thoughts on God and his grace by what we listen to Saturday evening as we prepare for bed.

    So the bottom line is that wether we think about this from the perspective of sacrifice or Sabbath, real preparation is necessary to consistently put our souls in the best position to encounter God. As I type this comment the image for Robert’s book Finding the Groove is on the web page. This prompted the thought that perhaps composing a jazz-shaped faith, or having a jazz-shaped worship life, also requires time in the woodshed.

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