Preparing Yourself for Sabbath Worship

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faint for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. ~ Psalm 84:1-2

The words of the psalmist personify the desires of his heart for God, especially the public the worship of God. But these words, let alone his desires for the public worship of God, are not to be the psalmist’s alone – God has provided them to be the substance of our prayers and desires as well. But these do not come naturally for most, especially because of the many struggles of the week that have gripped our emotions and attentions. So we need to quiet our hearts, and prepare ourselves for worship.

Psalm 116 is a great psalm to help us reflect on God’s love and mercy for us as he is present within our daily lives,  listening to our prayers and delivering us from our trouble. Psalm 116.1-8:

I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!” Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful. The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;

Reflecting on God’s presence with us helps us put the work week in perspective, so that we can be reminded of the greater world that exists outside our personal lives and struggles. That greater world?  Continue reading