In his book Folk Psalms of Faith, Pastor Ray Stedman says he wishes that all churchgoers could stand in the pulpit on a Sunday morning and watch the faces in the congregation during the sermon.
Although most people seem to give the minister their attention, many have their minds elsewhere. Stedman writes, “It would be fascinating at the end of the service to know where everybody had been!”
To receive the greatest benefit from a church service, we must prepare our hearts and become active participants. We must become wholeheartedly involved in singing the hymns, silently praying as the pastor leads the congregation in prayer, and worshiping from the heart as the choir sings.
Finally, we need to discipline ourselves to listen intently with a receptive heart to the teaching of God’s Word. We must develop a hunger for truth that quiets our spirits, inspired worship, evokes praise to God, and moves us to serve Him.
It’s easy to blame the pastor if we leave the service feeling empty and discouraged. But he’s just one participant; we must do our part. Those who get the most out of worship are those who put the most into it. – Richard W. De Haan
The house of God should be a place
For praise and reverent prayer,
Where holy thoughts our spirits fill
Each time we enter here. – Bosch
The heart of worship is worship from the heart.
– October 17, Vol. 11, Our Daily Bread