Hopefully, there are Sunday mornings where you are excited to worship God. You wake-up on time and come to the church early. And the moment you hear the first note of the first song, your heart explodes with overwhelming worship. You can’t help but sing-out in adoration of who God is, and praise him for what he has done in your life. You wish the time of worshiping together as a church would never come to an end.
In reality, not every Sunday is like that.
If we are honest, we can admit that we don’t always show up on Sunday with a strong desire to worship God. We don’t always feel like singing. We don’t always feel like engaging.
I think it is important to fight against that feeling.
If you ever feel like your heart is cold towards God at the beginning of a Sunday service, perhaps it is important to take a few practical steps to prepare your heart. Anyone who plays a sport will know the importance of stretching and getting warmed up before a game. If you prepare, the game will go better and be more enjoyable. The same principle applies to our gathered times of worship. If you prepare your heart for worship, you will enjoy Sunday morning at church more and be able to truly worship God.
1. Start the Night Before
The battle for your heart begins before Sunday morning. I find what I do Saturday night greatly affects how prepared my heart is to worship the next day.
Staying up late to watch a movie at the theater rarely gets me fired up to worship God the next day.
If possible, take some time Saturday night to read your bible and to pray. Listen to some worship music. Read a chapter of a good Christian book. Or watch a video on Right Now Media. Do something that will engage your heart and put your focus on Christ. All of this is done with the intention of being prepared to worship with the church family in the morning.
2. Pray Before You get in the Car
Sunday morning can be a mad scramble to get to church on time. From getting yourself ready, your kids ready, breakfast made, and the car clear of snow, Sunday is no walk in the park!
But if you can pause for a minute to pray before you even get in the car, it will make a huge difference. You aren’t going to the grocery store. You aren’t going to your kid’s soccer game. You are going to gather with other believers to worship.
Pause to pray. And ask God to prepare your heart. Ask him to work in your life that morning. Do this with your family – even if it is for only a minute.
3. Worship on the Car Ride to Church
Driving to church can easily be a time where we focus on anything other than Christ. We talk about our week and the plans we have for the afternoon. But I think this time can be used for something even more important.
Use your car ride to prepare your heart. Turn on your favourite worship album and belt out song or two before you get to church. This will warm up your voice, and warm up your heart to praising God.
4. Engage Other Believers When You Arrive
When you arrive at church, it is important to engage other Believers in more than just small talk. Ask your brothers and sisters in Christ how their week has truly been. Share how God has been working in your life. Offer to pray with others. Use this time to continue to orient your heart toward the things of Christ.
5. Pray Before the Service Starts
As you get to your seats, pause for a moment to pray.
I think we need to expect God to work in our lives every Sunday. Some weeks he might completely break your heart and do a radical transformation in your life. Other weeks he might just give you reassurance of your salvation. Either way, we must always be prepared for God to work.
So pause. Take a breath. Close your eyes and pray before anything else happens in the service.
How do you Prepare?
Maybe you will find some or all of these suggestions helpful. Or maybe you have your own way of preparing your heart to worship. Regardless, you need to prepare. You need to warm up your heart each week. If we do this as a church, we will be a congregation filled with contagious worshipers.
Bonus: Keep Worshiping
When the service is done, keep worshiping. On your car ride home, keep worshiping. When Monday morning comes around and you have a big project due, keep worshiping.
We need to see worship as more than just music and as more than just an event. We are called to be unceasing worshipers of Christ. And if we are able to do this, our hearts will be prepared to worship with the church family again come next Sunday.