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New Horizons

Helps for Worship #5: Preparing for Worship (Part 2)

William Shishko

"Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)

After six days in overdrive, it is difficult to slow down, change gears, and get our souls to the proper speed for the worship of God. Even with the best preparation for the Sabbath day, the world and its concerns stick to us as we gather on Sunday.

Corporate worship of the eternal God is the most important activity of our week, but we come to it caught up with the trivial things of our passing lives and a passing age.

Our remaining indwelling sin, together with the power of a very active devil—see Mark 4:15—works powerfully, and we find it hard to turn our attention to the surpassing greatness and goodness of the everlasting God.

Use the minutes prior to worship to "be still" and prepare to give God praise that comes from an undivided heart. Here are some practical suggestions:

  • Discipline yourself to be quiet before worship. There will be ample time to speak with others after the service is concluded.
  • Go over the items in the order of worship listed in your bulletin. Look up the hymns and Scripture passages that will be used. Pray over them, and ask God to powerfully use those words in your own life and in the lives of others as you worship.
  • Show your children the hymns that you will be singing. Quietly explain the items of worship and what they mean. Pray with your children for God's blessing on the service.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would come and show his transforming power during the time of worship. Particularly pray for his work in the one who will be leading worship and preaching the Word.

For Reflection

  1. What distractions before worship make it difficult to be well prepared to give God glory in corporate worship?
  2. How can the time before the service best be used to make the worship time most profitable for everyone?
  3. How might you be hindering others from "being still" before worship?

The author is pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Franklin Square, New York. Reprinted from New Horizons, February 2006. First article in series. Next article. Index.

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