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<< HomeWord, with Jim Burns

HomeWord - July 6, 2006

  • 2006 Jul 06
  • COMMENTS


Preparing for Worship 
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; with the deepest awe I will worship at your Temple.—Psalm 5: 7 (NLT)    


Imagine with me an ordinary Sunday morning across America.  The alarm buzzes and a sleepy hand hits the snooze button, not once but three times.  When the sleeper finally shakes the sleep from his eyes, a realization occurs.  It’s Sunday morning.  It’s time to get the kids up and ready for church.  The hustle begins.  Kids are ordered out of bed and into the shower, and of course, at least one child is protesting by stubbornly refusing to be moved from her bed.  Dad starts shouting; Mom begins a frantic search for stray shoes and hair bands while the reluctant teen continues to doze in and out of consciousness, simply ignoring the chaos.  Kids begin crying and the bribing begins.  “If you will please stop crying and eat your breakfast we can go,” Mom pleads.  Enter the teenager.  “Why do we have to go to church anyway?  It’s so boring.”  Orders are given to the teenager to hurry up and get ready and at least make it to church by worship time.  Hustling out the door, Mom, Dad and the harried younger children finally get in the vehicle, only to realize it’s low on gas.  After making an emergency stop at the neighborhood gas station, the family arrives at church, quickly straightens up, puts on smiles and walks in the door.

 

This scenario, although fictitious, is all too common.  While many Christians would vehemently defend that Sunday morning worship is the most important hour of the week, those same people do very little to prepare for it.  The Psalmist shares the secret as to why we even have the privilege of worship.  It is because of the unfailing love of God.  The writer goes on then to suggest how we are to worship God:  with deepest awe.  I don’t know about you, but it is very difficult for me to worship God with deepest awe when the frustrations of the morning, which are often brought on by my own lack of preparation, cloud my view.  When this happens, I enter worship with an expectation to be ministered to which can easily result in a critical attitude toward the music sung, the words preached and even what the pastor is wearing.  But when I take the time to prepare myself ahead of time and enter worship with the expectation of giving myself to God, I can more readily worship in deepest awe, even if I don’t necessarily care for the music style or other external preferences.  When we come prepared to worship, we can experience God in His fullness.

 

You might be thinking, “You don’t understand.  I have to get my entire family ready alone and we just always run late!  These expectations are unrealistic!”  I completely understand, as our family is much like yours.  Below you will find some practical solutions that helped our hectic Sundays become smoother.   Perhaps these will allow you to enter worship prepared to receive and give your best.

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GOING DEEPER:

1.    Communicate the importance of worship with your entire family.  Discuss together ways each family member can help Sunday mornings run smoother.

2. Get enough rest the night before.  If you have a teen, set curfew 30 minutes earlier the night prior to worship.

 

3. Mom and Dad, get up and ready before you wake the kids. Recognize and reward improvement.

4. Stop yelling.  It increases stress and anger, and it really doesn’t help.

FURTHER READING:

Psalm 84:10; Psalm 51:15-17; Psalm 100: 1-5


HomeWord
Encouraging Parents…Building Families

Other FREE resources from HomeWord and Jim Burns:
-
7 Minutes to Being a Better Parent
-Download HomeWord's daily broadcast
-GING FROM $!! (information) and 911 (crisis resources) to help parents.

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