GodReflection: Is Worship for God or for Me?
It is rather awesome to realize it is actually possible to converse with Creator God—He who made the universe and all it contains. True, I don’t have to assemble with others in worship to experience this daily reality.
Yet, I am drawn again to times when Holy God acted in powerful ways within a group setting. I want to enter the worship assembly with anticipation of a word from the Almighty.
This is just me so here’s my take on how prayer works when believers assemble.
Sure, I understand that we gather in group worship to renew our allegiance to Creator God. But, I bring an agenda to the assembly—I come to encounter God. I don’t want to leave with the same baggage I brought to church. I want to hear from God.
Back in ancient history we all installed CB radios in our automobiles so we could carry on ‘rich’ conversations with the drivers of Eighteen Wheelers.
We first had to make contact over an open band for all CB radios. We did so with the logical question—do you have your ears on?
That’s not bad self-directed advice for my entrance into worship. Do I have my ears on?
I want to hear from God.
To hear from God, I want to be attentive to His voice. I wait for Him to speak through Scripture that is read. I listen for His voice in both the words of songs and prayers.
My ears want to hear Him speak through a teaching or a sermon. I pay close attention to any clues I might received as He speaks to me through His Spirit. I listen for Him at the table.
When I listen He speaks.
Hopefully, something I pick up in the process moves my soul. I want to respond. So, I speak. I acknowledge any ‘aha moments’ brought to my awareness. I repent. I affirm. I confess. I make promises. I make requests. I express gratitude.
This time it is He—Holy God who listens. As He listens, He takes into account the fact that I am a feeble human. As He listens, He hears my conversation through the spilled blood and resurrection of His Beloved Son Jesus. He listens with grace ears and a heart filled with love.
He hears and understand my words and my heart.
This back and forth dialogue accompanies the length of the assembly. Over and over the conversation cycle continues. He speaks, I listen, I speak and He listens. It is a Holy worship conversation between Almighty God and less than mighty me.
Pretty neat don’t you think?
But, don’t miss the stage that makes it all possible. It is the assembly of the church. It is with Jesus and my siblings in Christ that I gather around the table in dialogue.
For it is through brothers and sisters in Jesus that songs, prayers, request, Scriptures and instruction provide the flash points for Holy conversation.
For what my opinion is worth, it’s not a bad way to spend an hour or two each week. How about it?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: He Speaks, I Listen, I Speak, He Listens