Preparing for worship

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chatwithstumac

Puritan Board Freshman
I play guitar in the worship band at my church on Sundays. The Associate Pastor/Music Minister emailed this to the band. I thought this was encouraging and hope it will be to you as well (whether you are on stage or not).

In Christ,
Stu

PREPARING FOR WORSHIP

Ecclesiastes 5:1

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.

For the Puritans, preparing for worship started the night before. The Puritans were people concerned with being prepared for Worship.

The Westminster Confession states: “When the congregation is to meet for public worship, the people (having prepared beforehand their hearts thereunto) ought all to come…”

Listen to the words of Stephen Charnock:

“Worship is an act of the understanding, applying itself to the knowledge of the excellency of God, and actual thoughts of his majesty….It is also an act of the will, whereby the soul adores and reverenceth his majesty, is ravished with his amiableness, embraceth His goodness, enters itself into an intimate communion with this most lovely object, and pitcheth all his affections upon Him” (Steven Charnock)​

JI Packer said: “An aimless, careless, casual, routine habit of church-going is neither rational nor reverent.”

Beginning on Saturday evening, spend much time with God. Seeking His face, for His smile, crying out for the power of God on the preacher, exalting Jesus as Lord in your life, humbly submitting yourself to His supremacy, begging for His grace and for the display of His glorious majesty as we humbly and reverently come into His presence to bow before His throne in worship, praise, prayer and preaching. The people of God, His house, are gathering together for Worship. When we gather, be preparing your heart for this awesome occasion. Be ready to stand trembling, yet joyfully lavishing praise on the One who has raised us from the dead and given us life.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
When I was a young man, the young singles group in my church met on Saturday evenings. It was a time of fellowship, but also of preparing for worship the next morning. We would pray together for the service, that God would use it to nurture us in his grace, and would get our hearts ready to worship him. There would be confession and Scripture sharing. It was one of the best examples of habitually practicing Christian disciplines I've had in my life, and I've not quite been able to recreate it with any other group of believers since then.

The practice you mention is not only sound, but is the sort of thing God uses to bring much grace into a person's life. Whether alone or in a group (which is even better, I think), it is an excellent idea.
 
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