Preparing Your Hearts and Minds for Worship
It’s Sunday morning. The kids got breakfast all over their clothes, you spilled your coffee all over yourself, your dog won’t go to the bathroom before you have to put it in the kennel, you’re running late and quickly run out the door realizing you forgot your keys and can’t get in the car. We’ve all been there! This describes a large portion of families across the country, including my own, who are just trying to simply get out the door and make a record breaking, on time, arrival to church. Sadly, not one second is spent centering your heart and mind to worship God and rather the focus is solely on getting everyone out the door without causing major family drama.
Our culture today has lost the focus of the importance to take the time to gather yourself and center your hearts and minds on God. We are simply way too busy and distracted. The idea of being still and sitting in silence makes most of us want to cringe at the idea of how boring and wasteful that would be. However scripture is flooded with examples of this important lesson for us to follow.
The Old Testament is full of rules, rituals, sacrifices, and offerings that were required before anyone could even enter the temple or worship God. Thankfully we don’t have the same rules and regulations today because of Jesus becoming that sacrifice needed to connect us with God, but over time we have lost the awe of God and arrive to church simply because it’s what you do on Sunday instead of walking in with full expectation that God is going to move in incredible ways. This is because we have forgotten the practice of preparing our hearts and minds for worship.
Romans 12:1 says to offer yourselves daily as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. That then is defined as your spiritual act of worship. This means to truly fulfill what scripture defines as worship, you must surrender yourself to God daily. You must lay down your thoughts, your desires, your wants, your opinions, your ideas, your everything. You must offer yourself to God and invite Him to use you for His glory and not your own. You must become a “living sacrifice” that is fully devoted to God and desires nothing else. I don’t know about you, but I have failed miserably with this. It is far too easy to follow our own plans and ambitions and try to do it all on our own accord. It takes obedience and discipline to daily offer yourself to God and that doesn’t come easily.
I get it. Life is stressful and stuff happens! But there is never not enough time to practice this important lesson. In fact, the more stressed and chaotic things become, the more important it is that you do this! Wake up earlier on Sundays and schedule in a family prayer time before you all leave the house. Do what it takes to gather your thoughts and take a moment to still your hearts before you walk into the worship center or begin the online worship service. Lead out in asking God to help you all prepare your hearts and minds to worship Him. Invite God to speak to you and move in power. Ask Him to silence your wants and expectations of what church should be like or how crazy and difficult your life may be. Instead simply offer your heart to God. His mercies are new every morning and He will meet you there!
My heart and desire is that our corporate worship gatherings will teach this lesson and create an environment and culture that practices preparing your heart and mind for worship. So here is my challenge to you! Schedule out a time each day; morning is best because it starts your day off with God! Be still before God and study His Word. I have provided a week’s worth of verses to study and guide your time with Him. Invite Him to speak to you as you study these scriptures and reveal the things you need to surrender to Him daily in order to fulfill the definition of worship in Romans 12:1. Begin practicing the art of preparing your hearts and minds to worship Him daily and see how He will transform your heart and flood it with joy!
Scripture references for your daily time with God:
Day 1: Romans 12:1, 2
Day 2: Philippians 4:4-9
Day 3: Psalm 148:1-6
Day 4: Psalm 104:33, 34
Day 5: 1 Samuel 12:24
Day 6: Hebrews 12:1, 2
Day 7: Psalm 19
Pastor of Worship Arts