Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Thought for Thursday 4/25/13

“Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who by night stand in the house of the Lord!  Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord.  The Lord who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion!”  Psalm 134

Most of us (including myself!) are very reserved when it comes to worship time with one another.  We close our eyes when we pray, we prefer the “tried and true” hymns of the past, and we hold on to traditions.  All these are important and have their place, of course, but it strikes me this morning as I read the psalmist encouraging an entire nation to “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary”.  There have been times when I have felt a need to lift my hands while praying or while singing, but I am always stopped cold in my thoughts: “What will they think of me?”  Or I cannot lift my hands while in song because I have a hymn book in my hands, and I need to see the words (and sometimes the music itself).

When was the last time you really let go of yourself in worship?  When was the last time you walked from the sanctuary and felt as though you had just participated not merely “in a worship service” but in active, engaging worship?  It is the difference between “going to church” which is more of a habit, and “worshiping” which is an expression of what is within us! 

A lot of it has to do with the traditions in which we are brought up, and there is nothing wrong with this – UNLESS we find ourselves questioning what others may think of us if we did let go and surrender to what is within.  That which is within, dear friends, is the Holy Spirit; and until we can freely surrender to this Power and give in to what our hearts long to express in worship, we cannot say we have surrendered our lives to our Holy Father.

Let us begin today (this Thursday!) to prepare our hearts and our minds for worship this weekend.  Begin to think of the wonderful things and persons in your lives who remind you of the glory and the majesty of our God.  Begin to offer prayers of surrender.  Cast aside the prayers of personal desire and personal petition and learn to allow the Holy Spirit to free our souls for earnest and genuine and heart-felt worship.  I believe we may never be the same again – and thank Almighty God for that!!


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