Sunday, June 2, 2019

Some thoughts on how to prepare for worship.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

In Exodus 19:11, God told Moses to have the nation of Israel ready and prepared for the Lord to come down in the sight of all the congregation on Mt. Sinai. We serve a God who desires that His people ready themselves to meet with Him in worship. How much more should we, blood-bought and regenerated servants of the true God, prepare to meet with Him in worship, praise, adoration and hearing of the Word of God.

Here are some practical ways that you can prepare.

Prepare by reading
Prepare by reading the text that will be read and expounded. Ready your soul by familiarizing yourself with the truths of God in the text that will be exposited and applied. Ask the Spirit of God to give you light as you read and insight as you study and diligence to apply. Prepare by reading the text a few times. You can even pray through it phrase by phrase. You can try to determine some of the main verbs, the main points, the key phrases, repeated words, and theological point that the biblical author conveys. Think of how much more you will get out of the sermon if you come already having read the text, studied the text, prayed through the text, and made observations of the text! Come prepared having read the sermon text beforehand.

Prepare by praying
Joined together with the last point, one very profitable way you can prepare for worship consists of praying for the time of worship. Pray for the preaching of the Word of God to go forth with power. Pray for your minister to have boldness and courage in preaching the “full counsel” of God. Pray for his mind to be focused on pleasing Christ, not men. Pray for him to be faithful to the text and to have freeness in expounding and applying and exhorting with the Spirit’s power. You can also pray for the congregation to be edified by the Truth, focused during worship, free from distraction. Pray for the young children who will sit in corporate worship. Pray for the Spirit of God to do a sovereign work in their little hearts and minds. Pray for the entire Sunday gathering — the Family Bible Hour class, the youth/high school Bible study, the catechism class for our young ones, and for the nursery teachers who will teach and shepherd the little kids. Pray for the music to point to Christ, His Gospel, and His Word. Pray for the fellowship to be sweet. Pray for visitors who may attend to hear the gospel and be open to the Truth, by the Spirit’s powerful work.

Prepare by anticipating
Anticipate great things in coming together to meet with God and with His people. You know from God’s Word, when God is present with His people, great things happen! In fact, the impossible can happen! Indeed, our God can convert souls and sanctify His adopted children! Anticipate a great feeding from the Word of God as the Spirit of God takes His Word and directs it deeply into your soul. Anticipate that God will exhort you, encourage you, convict you, illumine you, grow you, sanctify you, and show you more of Christ and His glory. Anticipate rich fellowship with the redeemed. Anticipate the heaven-preparing joy of singing corporately with the congregation as you magnify Christ and exhort one another to steadfastness and gospel-remembrance. Anticipate a meeting with God.

Prepare by planning
Plan ahead to proactively serve and encourage a few folks in particular. Perhaps there’s a member you’ve not connected with in some time. Seek them out, shake their hand, ask how the Lord has been growing them, and ask how you can pray for them specifically. Then, take 30-seconds and pray for them right then and there. Perhaps there’s a young man or a teenage girl that you can reach out to and share a Scripture text with them to chew on for the upcoming week. Maybe there’s a small child that you can approach and encourage with a high-five and an encouraging word about God and a call to trust in Christ alone for salvation. Plan to encourage one another and minister to the flock. Additionally, plan to arrive early. Arriving right on time and leaving when the final prayer concludes provides you with no time for fellowship and mutual encouragement. So plan to arrive a bit early and stay a bit after the service and see how God may bless your soul in rich conversations. Plan a good question to ask as well. For instance: “How did God encourage you in this sermon today?” “What did God show you about Christ and the Gospel in this message?” “Is there one way that I can join you in intercessory prayer this upcoming week specifically?”

Prepare by prioritizing
Prioritize the worship of GOd. Sundays in our culture have become a second Saturday. Sports, entertainments, hobbies, laziness, yard work and social events seem to always be available and knocking on our calendars. Remember to prepare for worship by prioritizing the sweet worship of God with His people. It is my conviction that nothing is more important — in our week! — than the corporate meeting with the saints when the Word of God will be preached. The Lord’s Day belongs to God. It is His day to worship Him, delight in Him, gather with others who long to give Him praise! It seems obvious to say, but prioritize the gathering of the saints. Worship with joy, with delight, with passion, with focus, and with regularity.

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