For the Christian, Sunday should be the most anticipated day of the week. It is a day where we gather with people that we love to be encouraged, edified, and engaged, not just with each other, but with our Lord. It is a place where we get to go before the throne room of God and worship Him. It is the Lord’s Day. What a blessing it is that He would give us a whole day just to be with Him apart from our normal labor. However, for many, it can be the most stressful day of the week. Besides the spiritual battle that is raged that day, just the plain affairs of the world can weigh heavy on us and rob us of this wonderful blessing of gathering with the corporate body. We are told to “not forsake the assembling together of the saints.” It is a command of God, but it is also for our benefit. So, how can we make sure that it is a blessing to us without all the hustle of the Sunday morning rush and frustrations? Below are 4 ways to “be” prepared, and I hope can help us be ready to worship.
Be Prayed Up:
Do you pray for your pastor and elders each week? What a blessing this can be. If you really want to help your pastor, be praying for him that the Lord will give him the time to rightly divide the Word of truth. However, don’t just stop at praying for him. Be in prayer for yourself as well. Pray that the Lord will give you a clear conscience. Pray that the Lord will rid you from all distraction. Pray that the Lord will give you a yielding Spirit to what He has to say to you through the teaching and preaching of the Word. Do not neglect this aspect of preparation. This can start as early as Monday morning the week prior. Prayer is powerful, and it sets your spirit in a posture of submission to the Lord, instead of having yourself on the throne of your desires.
Be Fed Up:
Have you ever been sitting in church and your stomach starts to make all sorts of crazy sounds because you have not fed it enough and it longs for a mile long bar of food? Hunger pains can be real distracters. When we are hungry it is hard to focus on almost anything else. It is hard to be listening to how Jesus is the Bread of Life when all you can think about is getting to the local hamburger joint after services. You don’t want to be stealing a few extra communion wafers during the Lord’s Supper because you forgot to eat toast that morning. Make sure that you have eaten a good breakfast that will sustain your hunger so that your spiritual hunger can fully feast on the Word.
Be Slept Up:
Is there anything more embarrassing than falling asleep in church? I once watched a grown man fall asleep and slowly fall into the lap of the person sitting next to me in the pew. It is one of the funniest things that I have ever experienced in my life. However, if he would have had a proper night’s sleep the evening before, it never would have happened. We have all experienced it. Our eyes get heavy. Our head starts to nod. When this happens, we cannot comprehend anything that anyone is saying. All of our energy and might is focused on not causing “an incident.” It can be a miserable feeling. If you have an important meeting at work, a project at school, or simply a full day ahead of you, do you not try to get to bed early to make sure that your body is prepared and you mind is sharp for the next day? How much more so should this be true if we are planning on going to visit with the one who died in our stead so that we can worship Him? Get a good night’s sleep so that you can be awake and not miss the Son the next day.
Be Read Up:
If you have Sunday School or small group materials, or if you know the passage that your pastor will be preaching from on the Lord’s Day, be prepared ahead of time by reading through it prior to the services. It is amazing the difference it can make when you have a basic understanding of a subject or specific text in the way of comprehension and personal application. Bible reading and study is not just for the teacher and preacher, but for all of us so that we can KNOW and worship God. It is a blessing to have God’s Word in a language that we can understand. Do not neglect this gift that the Lord has given us. I have never heard anyone ever say, “I really wish that I had not read the Bible before coming to church today.” On the other hand, I know many who have said the opposite. So, read before hand and be prepared.
These are 4 helpful and just plain practical ways that I hope will enhance your Lord’s Day worship if you have found yourself struggling with it as of late. Before you get up Sunday morning, and you’re running late and frustrated with everyone in your house, prepare yourself to “Be.” Pray before you hit the pew. Eat before you enter. Sleep before you sing, and if you want to fully experience what God has for you in the corporate gathering of believers, read before you ride. Do these things, and see if you do not come away more refreshed and ready to seek His Kingdom for the sake of His glory.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell