Have you ever had the experience of being in the crowd before a big football match, or perhaps a concert by your favourite band? People begin to gather, and there is a sense of anticipation and expectation in the air. There’s a sense of connection with those around you because you are all waiting for the same thing and you are all there for the same reason. You are united by a shared passion. There is a restless energy because everyone is desperate for things to get under way and nobody can really concentrate on anything else. There is a sense of excitement, and the possibility that anything could happen.
Passionate worshippers experience some of the same things when they come to worship. They expect something to happen and they are eager to be part of it. They expect God to be at work, to speak to them and to transform them.
This kind of anticipation and expectation is described in the Psalms, such as Psalm 42, where the author writes:
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Consider your own church for a moment. In what ways does it offer authentic and passionate worship experiences? How do you help? Do you feel an eagerness to be in God’s presence like the one described by the Psalmist?
Today, Schnase offers us this prayer and challenge:
God who is very near, may I always be eager to offer you my very best.
Let my worship be authentic, alive, and marked by a passionate longing for you.
Challenge: Learn to prepare your own heart before worship. Rather than looking for performance, search actively for what God desires to say to you through music, prayers, scripture, sermon, sacrament and fellowship.