Would you invest your energy in prayer for the times we worship together?
If, as individuals, we are building patterns of connection to God through the spiritual disciplines, then we have an expectation that God speaks to us regularly. We are learning a perpetual openness to the Holy Spirit teaching us moment by moment. This “practicing the presence of God” can overflow when we come together at prayer meetings, or Sunday mornings, or small group meetings.
What would it be like if a group of us expected God to speak to us on Sunday mornings as well? Would our holy expectancy change what happens for others in the room? Could people who enter bothered and rushed begin to be still and know the Lord is God? (Psalm 46:10)
I would be interested in several of us conducting the experiment that Richard Foster suggests in his book “Celebration of Discipline:”
Live throughout the week as an heir of the kingdom, listening for God’s voice, obeying God’s word. Since you have heard God’s voice throughout the week, you know that you will hear God’s voice as you gather for public worship. Enter the service ten minutes early. Lift your heart in adoration to the King of glory. Contemplate God’s majesty, glory and tenderness as revealed in Jesus Christ. Picture the marvelous vision that Isaiah had of the Lord “high and lifted up” of the magnificent revelation that John had of Christ with eyes “like a flame of fire” and a voice “Like the sound of many waters” (Isaiah 6 and Revelation 1). Invite the real Presence to be manifest.Feel free to join people at the communion window at Trinity before each service to pray for that service. Feel free to pray with people after each service at Trinity by the pulpit.
Next, lift into the light of Christ the pastor and other worship leaders. Picture the Shekinah (immediate Presence of God, not a God who is far off) of God’s radiance surrounding them. Inwardly release them to speak the truth boldly in the power of the Lord.
When people begin to enter the room, glance around until you see someone who needs your intercessory work. Perhaps their shoulders are drooped, or they seem a bit sad. Lift them into the glorious, refreshing light of God’s Presence. See the burden tumbling from their shoulders as it did from Pilgrim’s in Bunyan’s allegory The Pilgrim's Progress.
[Or, click here for a free, downloadable, digital e-Book copy of The Pligrim's Progress.]
Hold them as in a special intention [prayerfully remember them] throughout the service.
Let us know, here, at the blog how it goes in worship on Sunday!