PERSONAL PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP

THE RED GUM TREE with its deep roots beneath the surface and strong branches reaching upward and outward, reminds us of the importance of nurturing our inner life with God so that our outer life of witness through word and deed may be strong and effective.
N.B. Psalm 1: 1-4; Jeremiah 17 7-8.

 

Before coming together for congregation or corporate worship, the Church has always stressed the importance of personal preparation or quiet time. One can find five minutes on Saturday evening or before coming on Sundays (or any other day) or before the service to clear the mind and to ask some basic questions. It helps to read the Bible readings for the day which are listed in the Church notice sheet. Here are some questions for private use from "Proclaim and Celebrate" by Evan Burge:

  • What is it that I especially want to praise God for on this occasion?
  • What aspect of God's being or mystery of existence has become particularly important  to me since I last came to congregation worship?
  • What things have I done (or not done), or what things have happened since that time, that I regret and wish to confess?
  • What things do I specially want to thank God for on this occasion?
  • What persons or concerns do I specially want to bring before God for help and guidance?
  • What do I need from God at this time for myself?

This is a basic form of preparation, and it is good to use it regularly. As time goes on you may want to add to these basic questions by making your own prayers and/or using prayers written by others.

Two other questions to assist reflection:

  • What act(s) of practical Christianity or ministry have I done this week? - give thanks.
  • What have I learned from my reading and/ or involvement in worship services in the last week/ month? Have I found any new insight, meaning, response or comment.

 

PERSONAL PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

The Church has always emphasised the importance of personal preparation before coming together for congregation or corporate worship. We can take time each week to prepare ourselves for Holy Communion. Such preparation can be of great value in gaining from our participation in the Eucharist. It can be as simple as forming a sentence in our mind in answer to questions (see above) or looking at your life from the point of view of positive statements as benchmarks for the living of life.

Read
For example, Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1-12), Lord's Prayer (Luke 11: 1-4), the two commandments (Mark 12: 28-34, the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23) and the gift of love (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8) - How do you measure up?

Reflect

Meditate
In silence before the service begins, pray for:

  • Those who lead the worship today -clergy, choir, organist/musicians, lay assistants, servers, preacher, teachers, readers, intercessors, sidespeople, welcomers, morning tea hostesses/ hosts & hospitality; those who have prepared for today - Sunday preparation, Sanctuary Guild, Parish Office .....
  • Those who will be at the Worship Service - our parishioners, visitors and newcomers .....
  • Those who could not come - the sick and elderly, those at work and travelling on this occasion .....
  • Yourself, that you may give to the Service a warmth and a responsiveness; that you may listen to God as well as speak with God; that today, afresh you may know the reality of worship, the reality of God; Communion with God .....
  • Remember Jesus praying; Matthew 6: 9-15 for example. In prayer hold people, causes, concerns on your heart in God's presence.
Published on 14 July 2004