“Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.”
Psalm 95:6-7 (NIV)
I love to watch runners on the Olympic track preparing for the race. Years of training have all been for this moment. They jog around the starting line and some gently run on the spot to warm up. As they take their positions you see how carefully they place their feet and crouch down like coiled springs. Muscles tense up and when the starter’s gun fires they explode out of the starting blocks.
There is something similar between a runner and a worshipper. Both need preparation before the event. Worshippers need to cleanse their hearts before entering the presence of the Lord.
James 4:8 (NIV)
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Then we must have the right attitude as we complete our preparations for worship.
It says in James 4:10 (NIV)
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
The Greek word in the New Testament for worship was used to refer to the act of a person bowing down before another person.
So when we come to the Lord we are to remember how great and mighty He is and our own weakness and dependence on Him.
Psalm 86:10 (NIV)
“For you are great and do marvellous deeds; you alone are God.”
Psalm 86:1,7 (NIV)
“Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.”
In many churches there is a prayer of confession and as the leader speaks each part of the confession, the congregation says in response, “Christ have mercy”. It is a good thing to do as a group to prepare ourselves to be in God’s holy presence.
Another aspect of true worship is a joyful spirit because of Who God is and what He has done for us.
Psalm 100:1-2 (NIV)
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”
Then there is the clapping of hands that many people do with biblical support. In Psalm 47:1-2 (NIV) we read
“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.”
Perhaps some of us might say that was a cultural thing for the Jews and we do not do it today. But the message is clear that there is celebration when we draw near to the Lord.
When you go to the Lord’s house next time, prepare your heart through personal confession and then review the blessings from the Lord last week, and consider how glorious the Lord is, then make your heart joyful and full of praise to give to the Lord as you fellowship with the other worshippers, sing, pray, hear the Scriptures read, and listen to a sermon that praises Jesus. You were made to worship, so do it this week.