What is worship and why should I prepare for it?
God is supremely worthy of all glory, honor, and praise (Psalm 145:3, Revelation 4:11; 5:9,12). Worship is gladly ascribing to the Lord the glory due to His name (Psalms 29:2; 96:8). The English word, worship, was originally "worthship". The idea is that of recognizing and rejoicing in the supreme worth and infinite vlaue of God. It means that we treasure God as the most precious thing in the Universe and in our lives.
We were created to worship (Isaiah 43:21). We were redeemed for worship (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). Worship is the chief employment of heavenly beings now (Revelation 4:8-11), and will be the chief enjoyment of the saints forever (Revelation 5:11-14). It is our highest privilege and greatest satisfaction while we are still on earth (Psalms 122:1; 147:1; 65:4; 36:8; 63:5).
Jesus said that the Father seeks true worshippers, and He defined true worship as that which is "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23, 24). In spirit means carried along by the Spirit working in our spirit, and happening mainly as an inward spiritual experience rather than merely an outward form or activity. In truth, means responding to true views of God and shaped by true views of God. Jesus insisted that true worship must be both spirit and truth. And He also said that honoring God with our lips while our hearts are far from Him is not worship (Matthew 15:8, 9). In other words, it is possible to be at the right place at the right time, and go through the right motions, and have Jesus regard our worship as vain, because the heart was not engaged with God.
We don't want to offer God vain worship! He is worthy of our very best in worship (Malachi 1:6 - 14). He will not settle for lukewarm affections (Revelation 3:16). We want (and He deserves!) a heartfelt intensity like David, who said, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!" (Psalms 103:1). And that is why preparation for worship is so essential. We do not automatically come ready to bless His name with all we've got. Our hearts are all too often cold and dull and sleepy. But we don't have to resign ourselves to such a condition. We can seek God's gracious help in overcoming our sluggish hearts, and take some practical steps that will help us be more prepared to draw near to God.
How can I prepare for worship?