Monday, October 19, 2009

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: Preparing to Call upon God

The Pastor’s Perspective
Vol. 29, Num. 4

A friend and I were talking this past week about the remarkable sense of anticipation amongst the congregation leading up to our first morning worship service in September. And what’s more, the service itself seemed to be characterized by an holy excitement and Spiritual intensity that I have rarely felt so keenly.

It was, of course, an occasion that I had personally looked forward to with much expectancy. One does not begin a ministry at First Presbyterian, Jackson everyday! But nerves and adrenalin aside, I believe that our worship was singularly God-blessed. I have had many comment about their own sense of the Lord’s gracious presence among us. Furthermore, particularly in our singing of praises to God, I have had many mention how they were moved to tears of joy by holy affections.

Such pleasant reflections have led me to ask myself about our preparation for Lord’s Day worship on a regular basis. I know, for instance, how many of the good folk of First Presbyterian had been laboring in prayer with a view to the worship services of September 1 (so many of you mentioned to me how you had regularly prayed for the Lord’s blessing on us that day). I can honestly say that I felt the effect of the those prayers. Perhaps we would more regularly know God’s presence so vividly, if we were more often so bathed in prayer for corporate worship and more desirous of truly meeting with Him.

Calvin reminds us in his commentary on Isaiah that the Bible often characterizes the whole of worship as “calling upon God.” Is it any wonder then that we ought to regularly prepare for our corporate worship in earnest prayer--calling upon God? Calvin also says, elsewhere, that “the principle of worshiping God is a diligent love of Him.” Is it any wonder then that when our love for Him is strong, our sense that we have worshiped (and that He has met with us and has been glorified) is more acute?

Let us each devote himself to Spiritual preparation for worship in prayer and single-hearted devotion to our gracious God.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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