Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lord, Give us Passion for Worship

I would like to share the prayer I offered at the conclusion of this past Sunday's sermon. The sermon was on 1 Corinthians 14:20-33 where Paul encourages precision and care when ordering a public worship gathering. My prayer was offered in hopes that God would give our church a genuine passion for our times of corporate worship. I don’t always fully write my closing prayers, but rather have a basic outline for guidance. This is an attempt to recreate the prayer best I can remember. It is informally written the way I said it, so therefore not exactly ready for entrance in to the Book of Common Prayer.

Heavenly Father, It is our desire to worship you in spirit and in truth. It is our desire to worship you the way you call us to. Make our hearts passionate for your worship every hour, but especially in those hours of gathering with all the Saints, like this hour. When we are called to worship, jar us to life- make us know we are in the presence of King Jesus- the One who is Worthy to take up and open the Scroll and thus WORTHY of all our worship and praise. Make us to not just read prayers each week with no feeling. Cause us to be invested in the Prayer of Confession and truly relieved by the Words of Assurance of forgiveness through Christ. Make us not to mumble through the great hymns of praise and adoration. Cause us not to murmur against the speed of the music, the distraction of the baby crying, the person playing with the kneeler, or the service going a bit long. Help us as we join in responsive readings to RESPOND to your Word. Help us preachers not to be boring and help the people not to be snoring. Lord, make us prepare for our times of public worship the same way we would for anything important- that we don’t go to bed too late and get up late also. Lord, give us hungry anticipation for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper every week. Renew us and grow our faith in you by your means of grace experienced each Lord’s Day corporately. When there are unbelievers in our midst- remove the scales from their eyes as they hear and see the gospel. What glorious grace, that you would transfer someone from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, right here in a sanctuary built for your honor! Lord, we get pumped for a party, a fine dinner, a great concert, or an exciting sporting event...but please, more than these events, make us say with the psalmist- “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’” Amen. 

We sang a closing hymn that really captures our desire for God to move when we gather for worship- Revive thy work, O Lord, give pentecostal showers; the glory shall be all Thine own, the blessing, Lord, be ours.

1 comment:

Woody Woodward said...

Powerful Sermon and a much needed reminder of the exhortation from Psalms 122:1. Here are some thoughts that will be discussed at our next HFG.
ASK: How does you and your family prepare for Sunday worship? What is your attitude and actions when you rise Sunday morning, get dressed, and make the family drive on the way to worship?
ASK: What is your excitement level when we practice the “passing of the peace”? Do you make a point to find at least one person that you have not spoken to before and greet them in His Mighty Name?
True worship will mirror God’s orderly character.
Those who don’t know Christ should be drawn to Him by our actions and our attitudes. Those around us should see the Love of Jesus alive and well in our beings. The Love of Jesus should be mirrored on our faces. When we enter for worship we must enter with an attitude of reverence, maintain a teachable spirit, listen to the Word being proclaimed, asking God to speak to your heart. Worship is not entertainment; worship is not trying to appease the culture by telling folks what they want to hear.
ASK: In observing Redeemer’s Biblical formula for right worship, what element or act of worship is the most meaningful to you?