You walk into church Sunday morning feeling groggy and tired. You are running late, so you walk into the sanctuary halfway through the worship set. You are thinking, “Where did the weekend go? Why is tomorrow Monday? Why am I even here when I have so much to do at home?”. You find a spot to stand and listen as the band leads the last song. You aren’t really interested in singing this morning so you just wait for the music to be over so you can sit down and rest. Doesn’t this sound like all of us at one point or another? I know I have been there many times and have felt convicted about my heart attitude afterwards. This month I am going to talk about the importance of preparing our hearts for worship as well as some practical solutions to apply in our own lives.

Some of us have a common misconception that the music part of a worship service serves simply as the preparation for the message. If we believe this lie, we will continue walking in late and not engaging in worship because we think that it is unimportant. The music part of a service is just as important as the message, and the whole service works together to create a sweet offering to the Lord. Just like it is unprofessional to walk into a meeting at work unprepared, it is disrespectful to walk into the presence of God without adequately preparing our hearts. We need to walk into church ready to worship the Creator of the universe with hands stretched high and with hearts ready to enter into the presence of God almighty. Proverbs 16:1 states, “The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” Our job is to prepare our hearts and allow God to do His perfect work.

So, what does preparing our hearts look like? There is a quick solution and a long-term solution that I would like to talk about. The quick solution is for those times when you are getting ready or already in the car on a Sunday morning. This is an opportunity to take a quick moment before you arrive at church to focus on what really matters. Put aside the millions of other things going on in your life and commit to focus on Jesus Christ and worshipping His name for the next 1.5 hours. You can pray, quiet your heart, or even listen to the Spotify playlist that we prepare each week! When you walk through the doors into church, you will feel ready to sing and learn more about our Savior.

The second solution is a lifelong commitment. We cannot expect to simply attend church on Sundays and mid-week services and see growth in our lives. We need to be preparing our hearts every day of our lives. This looks different in each person’s own walk with the Lord. Perhaps it is listening to worship music throughout the week, hearing a variety of sermons, and doing personal Bible studies. However this looks in your life, it is essential to a strong walk with the Lord.

Next time you feel unprepared and unenthusiastic about attending church, remember to take time to pray and seek what God might be showing you. If we are just going through the motions and not paying attention to God’s will, that is an indicator that we need to take a step back and work on our hearts. We need to be working on our hearts every single day (some days more than others). Let us not be the congregation that just shows up to church, but the people who show up ready to see God do something amazing and have a personal encounter with Him.