A Prayer for God’s Transforming Presence in Our Worship
The secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” 1 Cor. 14:25
Gracious Father, it’s the Lord’s Day, and as we prepare to gather as your sons and daughters, we’re not afraid for the secrets in our hearts to be laid bare—to be openly exposed and revealed. For we’re confident that you won’t deal with us according to our sin but according to the unsearchable riches of the gospel. For you’ve dealt with Jesus according to our sins and have rewarded him according to our iniquities, to which we respond with several loud “hallelujahs”!
Otherwise, we’d surely fear and despair of such exposure. For in the gospel we find the generosity and kindness of your heart “laid bare” and poured out—your welcome and provision for rebels, fools, and idolaters just like us. O, the greatness and grace of it all…
Indeed, the gospel is the sanctuary where ours heart cry the loudest, “God is really among you!” Only the gospel of your grace frees us to fall down and worship you in humility, not humiliation; in gratitude, not groveling; in repentant faith, not uncertain penance; in the assurance of Christ’s righteousness, not the condemnation of our unrighteousness.
Father, we pray our whole church family will enjoy this same freedom, whenever we gather to worship you. In a day when we seem to need more gadgets and gimmicks to create “worship experiences,” free us from needing anything more than the gospel to worship you the way you deserve and delight to be worshiped. Indeed, convict us quickly when we slip into worshiping worship more than we worship you.
Teach us how to be stewards of technology, not slaves to technology. Teach us how to be creative, not cute; faithful, not manipulative; simple, not spectacular. Reel us back in anytime we move away from “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). Don’t let us ever forget that you’re not seeking “great worship” but true worshipers—those who worship you “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:23). Don’t let us be consumers of worship, but those who are consumed with you, as we give you the adoration and adulation of which you alone are worthy…
May our worship be so saturated with the truth and grace of the gospel that nonbelievers (as well as believers!) will be overwhelmed with your presence and captured by your love. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ most wonderful and worthy name.